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Full text of "Dred : a tale of the great Dismal Swamp"

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C^y^Lat^ f oS • < -7^-&*-*L-*r. 



DRED; 



TALE OF THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP. 



BY 

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, 

AUTHOR OF "UNCLE TOM'S CABIN." 



' Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds, — 

His path was rugged and sore, 
Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds, 
Through many a fen, where the serpent feeds, 
And man never trod before. 

And, when on the earth he sunk to sleep, 

If slumber his eyelids knew, 
He lay where the deadly vine doth weep 
Its venomous tears, that nightly steep 

The flesh with blistering dew." 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. II. 



BOSTON: 

PHILLIPS, SAMPSON AND COMPANY. 

1856. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by 

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 



STEREOTYPED BY 

HOBART & BOBBINS, 

NEW ENGLAND TYPE AND STEREOTYPE fOUNDERY, 
BOSTON. 



CONTENTS 

OF VOLUME II. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGB 

LIFE IN THE SWAMPS, 6 

CHAPTER II. 

MORE SUMMER TALK, 13 

CHAPTER III. 

MTLLY'S RETURN, 29 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE TRIAL, 36 

CHAPTER V. 

MAGNOLIA GROVE, 45 

CHAPTER VI. 

THE TROUBADOUR, 63 

CHAPTER VII. 

TIFF'S GARDEN, 77 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE WARNING, 87 

CHAPTER IX. 

THE MORNING STAR, 02 

°? CHAPTER X. 

^ THE LEGAL DECISION ; 09 



IV CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XI. 

PAttX 
THE CLOUD BURSTS, Ill 

CHAPTER XII. 

THE VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS, 124 

CHAPTER XIII. 

THE EVENING STAR, 129 

CHAPTER XIV. 

TnE TIE BREAKS, . 138 

CHAPTER XV. 

THE PURPOSE, 148 

CHAPTER XVI. 

THE NEW MOTHER, 156 

CHAPTER XVII. 

THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT, 162 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE, 176 

CHAPTER XIX. 

THE RESULT, 190 

CHAPTER XX. 

THE SLAVE'S ARGUMENT, 201 

CHAPTER XXI. 

THE DESERT, 213 

CHAPTER XXII. 

JEGAR SAHADUTHA, ." . . 223 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

FRANK RUSSEL'S OPINIONS, 235 



CONTENTS. V 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

PAOM 

TOM GORDON'S PLANS, 245 

CHAPTER XXV. 

LYNCH LAW, 2S1 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

MORE VIOLENCE, 263 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

ENGEDI 273 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

THE SLAVE HUNT, 283 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

" ALL OVER," 289 

CHAPTER XXX. 

THE BURIAL, 295 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

THE ESCAPE, 301 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

LYNCH LAW AGAIN, 311 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

FLIGHT, 325 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

CLEAR SniNING AFTER RAIN, 333 

APPENDIX I., 339 

II., 348 

HI., 358 

n. 1* 



CHAPTER I . 

LIFE IN THE SWAMPS. 

Our readers will perhaps feel an interest to turn back 
with us, and follow the singular wanderings of the mys- 
terious personage, whose wild denunciations had so dis- 
turbed the minds of the worshippers at the camp-meeting. 

There is a twilight-ground between the boundaries of the 
sane and insane, which the old Greeks and Romans regarded 
with a peculiar veneration. They held a person whose fac- 
ulties were thus darkened as walking under the awful 
shadow of a supernatural presence ; and, as the mysterious 
secrets of the stars only become visible in the night, so in 
these eclipses of the more material faculties they held there 
was often an awakening of supernatural perceptions. 

The hot and positive light of our modern materialism, 
which exhales from the growth of our existence every dew- 
drop, which searches out and dries every rivulet of ro- 
mance, which sends an unsparing beam into every cool 
grotto of poetic possibility, withering the moss, and turning 
the dropping cave to a dusty den — this spirit, so remorse- 
less, allows us no such indefinite land. There are but two 
words in the whole department of modern anthropology — 
the sane and the insane ; the latter dismissed from human 
reckoning almost with contempt. We should find it diffi- 
cult to give a suitable name to the strange and abnormal 
condition in which this singular being, of whom we are 
speaking, passed the most of his time. 

It was a state of exaltation and trance, which yet ap- 
peared not at all to impede the exercise of his outward and 



6 LIFE IN THE SWAMPS. 

physical faculties, but rather to give them a preternatural 
keenness and intensity, such as sometimes attends the more 
completely-developed phenomena of somnambulism. 

In regard to his physical system there was also much 
that was peculiar. Our readers may imagine a human body 
of the largest and keenest vitality, to grow up so com- 
pletely under the nursing influences of nature, that it may 
seem to be as perfectly en rapport with them as a tree ; so 
that the rain, the wind, and the thunder, all those forces 
from which human beings generally seek shelter, seem to 
hold with it a kind of fellowship, and to be familiar com- 
panions of existence. 

Such was the case with Dred. So completely had he 
come into sympathy and communion with nature, and with 
those forms of it which more particularly surrounded him 
in the swamps, that he moved about among them with as 
much ease as a lady treads her Turkey carpet. What would 
seem to us in recital to be incredible hardship, was to him 
but an ordinary condition of existence. To walk knee-deep 
in the spongy soil of the swamp, to force his way through 
thickets, to lie all night sinking in the porous soil, or to 
crouch, like the alligator, among reeds and rushes, were to 
him situations of as much comfort as well-curtained beds 
and pillows are to us. 

It is not to be denied, that there is in this savage perfec- 
tion of the natural organs a keen and almost fierce delight, 
which must excel the softest seductions of luxury. Any- 
body who has ever watched the eager zest with which the 
hunting-dog plunges through the woods, darts through the 
thicket, or dives into water, in an ecstasy of enjoyment, sees 
something of what such vital force must be. 

Dred was under the inspiring belief that he was the sub- 
ject of visions and supernatural communications. The 
African race are said by mesmerists to possess, in the full- 
est degree, that peculiar temperament which fits them for 
the evolution of mesmeric phenomena ; and hence the ex 
istence among them, to this day, of men and women who are 



LIFE IN THE SWAMPS. 7 

supposed to have peculiar magical powers. The grand- 
father of Dred, on his mother's side, had been one of these 
reputed African sorcerers ; and he had early discovered in 
the boy this peculiar species of temperament. He had 
taught him the secret of snake-charming, and had possessed 
his mind from childhood with expectations of prophetic and 
supernatural impulses. That mysterious and singular gift, 
whatever it may be, which Highland seers denominate sec- 
ond sight, is a very common tradition among the negroes ; 
and there are not wanting thousands of reputed instances 
among them to confirm belief in it. What this faculty may 
be, we shall not pretend to say. Whether there be in the 
soid a yet undeveloped attribute, which is to be to the 
future what memory is to the past, or whether in some in- 
dividuals an extremely high and perfect condition of the 
sensuous organization endows them with something of that 
certainty of instinctive discrimination which belongs to ani- 
mals, are things which we shall not venture to decide upon. 

It was, however, an absolute fact with regard to Dred, 
that he had often escaped danger by means of a peculiarity 
of this kind. He had been warned from particular places 
where the hunters had lain in wait for him ; had foreseen in 
times of want where game might be ensnared, and received 
intimations where persons were to be found in whom he 
might safely confide ; and his predictions with regard to 
persons and things had often chanced to be so strikingly 
true, as to invest his sayings with a singular awe and 
importance among his associates. 

It was a remarkable fact, but one not peculiar to this case 
alone, that the mysterious exaltation of mind in this indi- 
vidual seemed to run parallel with the current of shrewd, 
practical sense ; and, like a man who converses alternately 
in two languages, he would speak now the language of ex- 
altation, and now that of common life, interchangeably. 
This peculiarity imparted a singular and grotesque effect to 
his whole personality. 

On the night of the camp-meeting, he was, as we have 



8 LIFE IN THE SWAMPS. 

already seen, in a state of the highest ecstasy, The wanton 
murder of his associate seemed to flood his soul with an 
awful 'tide of emotion, as a thunder-cloud is filled and 
shaken by slow-gathering electricity. And, although the 
distance from his retreat to the camp-ground was nearly 
fifteen miles, most of it through what seemed to be impas- 
sable swamps, yet he performed it with as little conscious- 
ness of fatigue as if he had been a spirit. Even had he 
been perceived at that time, it is probable that he could 
no more have been taken, or bound, than the demoniac of 
Gadara. 

After he parted from Harry, he pursued his way to the 
interior of the swamp, as was his usual habit, repeating to 
himself, in a chanting voice, such words of prophetic writ 
as were familiar to him. 

The day had been sultry, and it was now an hour or two 
past midnight, when a thunder-storm, which had long been 
gathering and muttering in the distant sky, began to 
develop its forces. 

A low, shivering sigh crept through the woods, and 
swayed in weird whistlings the tops of the pines ; and sharp 
arrows of lightning came glittering down among the dark- 
ness of the branches, as if sent from the bow of some warlike 
angel. An army of heavy clouds swept in a moment across 
the moon ; then came a broad, dazzling, blinding sheet of 
flame, concentrating itself on the top of a tall pine near 
where Dred was standing, and in a moment shivered all its 
branches to the ground, as a child strips the leaves from a 
twig. Dred clapped his hands with a fierce delight ; and, 
while the rain and wind were howling and hissing around 
him, he shouted aloud : 

" Wake, 0, arm of the Lord ! Awake, put on thy 
strength ! The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars — yea, 
the cedars of Lebanon ! The voice of the Lord divideth 
the flames of fire ! The voice of the Lord shaketh the wil- 
derness of Kadesh I Hail-stones and coals of fire ! " 

The storm, which howled around him, bent the forest like 



LIFE IN THE SWAMPS. 9 

a reed, and large trees, taprooted from the spongy and trem- 
ulous soil, fell crashing with a tremendous noise ; but, as if 
he had been a dark spirit of the tempest, he shouted and 
exulted. 

The perception of such awful power seemed to animate 
him, and yet to excite in his soul an impatience that He 
whose power was so infinite did not awake to judgment. 

" Kend the heavens," he cried, and come down ! 
Avenge the innocent blood ! Cast forth thine arrows, 
and slay them ! Shoot out thy lightnings, and destroy 
them ! " 

His soul seemed to kindle with almost a fierce impa- 
tience, at the toleration of that Almighty Being, who, hav- 
ing the power to blast and to burn, so silently endures. 
Could Dred have possessed himself of those lightnings, 
what would have stood before him ? But his cry, like the 
cry of thousands, only went up to stand in waiting till an 
awful coming day ! 

Gradually the storm passed by ; the big drops dashed less 
and less frequently ; a softer breeze passed through the 
forest, with a patter like the clapping of a thousand little 
wings ; and the moon occasionally looked over the silvery 
battlements of the great clouds. 

As Dred was starting to go forward, one of these clear 
revealings showed him the cowering form of a man, crouched 
at the root of a tree, a few paces in front of him. He was 
evidently a fugitive, and, in fact, was the one of whose es- 
cape to the swamps the Georgia trader had complained on 
the day of the meeting. 

" Who is here, at this time of night ? " said Dred, com- 
ing up to him. 

" I have lost my way," said the other. " I don't know 
where I am ! " 

" A runaway ? " inquired Dred. 

" Don't betray me ! " said the other, apprehensively. 

" Betray you ! Would I do that ? " said Dred. " How 
did you get into the swamp ? " 



10 LIFE IN THE SWAMPS. 

' I got away from a soul-driver's camp, that was taking 
us on through the states." 

"0, ! " said Dred. " Camp-meeting and driver's 
camp right alongside of each other ! Shepherds that sell 
the flock, and pick the bones ! Well, come, old man ; I '11 
take you home with me." 

" I 'm pretty much beat out," said the man. " It 's been 
up over my knees every step ; and I did n't know but 
they 'd set the dogs after me. If they do, I '11 let 'em kill 
me, and done with it, for I 'm 'bout ready to have it over 
with. I got free once, and got clear up to New York, 
and got me a little bit of a house, and a wife and two chil- 
dren, with a little money beforehand ; and then they nabbed 
me, and sent me back again, and mas'r sold me to the dri- 
vers, — and I believe I 's 'bout as good 's die. There 's no 
use in trying to live — everything going agin a body so ! " 

" Die ! No, indeed, you won't," said Dred ; " not if I 've 
got hold of you ! Take heart, man, take heart ! Before 
morning I '11 put you where the dogs can't find you, nor 
anything else. Come, up with you ! " 

The man rose up, and made an effort to follow ; but, 
wearied, and unused as he was to the choked and perplexed 
way, he stumbled and fell almost every minute. 

" How now, brother ? " said Dred. " This won't do ! I 
must put you over my shoulder as I have many a buck before 
now ! " And, suiting the action to the word, he put the 
man on his back, and, bidding him hold fast to him, went 
on, picking his way as if he scarcely perceived his weight. 

It was now between two and three o'clock, and the clouds, 
gradually dispersing, allowed the full light of the moon to 
slide down here and there through the wet and shivering 
foliage. No sound was heard, save the humming of insects 
and the crackling plunges by which Dred made his way for- 
ward. 

"You must be pretty strong!" said his companion, 
" Have you been in the swamps long ? " 

" Yes," said the other, " I have been a wild man — every 



LIFE IN THE SWAMPS. 11 

man's baud against me — a companion of the dragons and 
the owls, this many a year. I have made my bed with the 
leviathan, among the reeds and the rushes. I have found 
the alligators and the snakes better neighbors than Chris- 
tians. They let those alone that let them alone ; but Chris- 
tians will hunt for the precious life." 

After about an hour of steady travelling, Dred arrived 
at the outskirts of the island which we have described. 
For about twenty paces before he reached it, he waded 
waist-deep in water. Creeping out, at last, and telling the 
other one to follow him, he began carefully coursing along 
on his hands and knees, giving, at the same time, a long, 
shrill, peculiar whistle. It was responded to by a similar 
sound, which seemed to proceed through the bushes. After 
a while, a crackling noise was heard, as of some animal, 
which gradually seemed to come nearer and nearer to them, 
till finally a large water-dog emerged from the underbrush, 
and began testifying his joy at the arrival of the new comer, 
by most extravagant gambols. 

" So, ho ! Buck! quiet, my boy!" said Dred. "Show 
us the way in ! " 

The clog, as if understanding the words, immediately 
turned into the thicket, and Dred and his companion fol- 
lowed him, on their hands and knees. The path wound up 
and down the brushwood, through many sharp turnings, till 
at last it ceased altogether, at the roots of a tree ; and, 
while the dog disappeared among the brushwood, Dred 
climbed the tree, and directed his companion to follow him, 
and, proceeding out on to one of the longest limbs, he sprang 
nimbly on to the ground in the cleared space which we have 
before described. 

His wife was standing waiting for him, and threw herself 
upon him with a cry of joy. 

" 0, you 've come back ! I thought, sure enough, dey 'd 
got you dis time ! " 

" Not yet ! I must continue till the opening of the seals 
— till the vision cometh ! Have ye buried him ? ,; 
n. 2 



12 LIFE IN THE SWAMPS. 

" No ; there 's a grave dug down yonder, and he 's been 
carried there." 

" Come, then ! " said Dred. 

At a distant part of the clearing was a blasted cedar-tree, 
all whose natural foliage had perished. But it was veiled 
from head to foot in long wreaths of the tillandsia, the par- 
asitic moss of these regions, and, in the dim light of the 
approaching dawn, might have formed no unapt resemblance 
to a gigantic spectre dressed in mourning weeds. 

Beneath this tree Dred had interred, from time to time, 
the bodies of fugitives which he found dead in the swamps, 
attaching to this disposition of them some peculiar super- 
stitious idea. 

The widow of the dead, the wife of Dred, and the new 
comer, were now gathered around the shallow grave ; for the 
soil was such as scarcely gave room to make a place deep 
enough for a grave without its becoming filled with water. 

The dawn was just commencing a dim foreshadowing in 
the sky. The moon and stars were still shining. 

Dred stood and looked up, and spoke, in a solemn voice. 

" Seek him that maketh Arcturus and Orion — that turn- 
eth the shadow of death into morning ! Behold those lights 
in the sky — the lights in his hands pierced for the sins of 
the world, and spread forth as on a cross ! But the day 
shall come that he shall lay down the yoke, and he will bear 
the sin of the world no longer. Then shall come the great 
judgment. He will lay righteousness to the line and judg- 
ment to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the 
refuges of lies." 

He stooped, and, lifting the body, laid him in the grave, 
and at this moment the wife broke into a loud lament. 

" Hush, woman ! " said Dred, raising his hand. " Weep 
ye not for the dead, neither bewail him ; but weep ye sore 
for the living ! He must rest till the rest of his brethren 
be killed ; for the vision is sealed up for an appointed time. 
If it tarry, wait for it. It shall surely come, and shall not 
tarry ! " 



CHAPTER II. 

MORE SUMMER TALK. 

A glorious morning", washed by the tears of last night's 
shower, rose like a bride upon Canema. The rain-drops 
sparkled and winked from leaf to leaf, or fell in showery 
diamonds in the breeze. The breath of numberless roses, 
now in full bloom, rose in clouds to the windows. 

The breakfast-table, with its clean damask, glittering sil- 
ver, and fragrant coffee, received the last evening's par- 
ticipants of the camp-meeting in fresh morning spirits, 
ready to discuss, as an every-day affair, what, the evening 
before, they had felt too deeply, perhaps, to discuss. 

On the way home, they had spoken of the scenes of the 
day, and wondered and speculated on the singular incident 
which closed it. But, of all the dark circle of woe and 
crime, — of all that valley of vision which was present to 
the mind of him who spoke, — they were as practically 
ignorant as the dwellers of the curtained boudoirs of New 
York are of the fearful mysteries of the Five Points. 

The aristocratic nature of society at the South so com- 
pletely segregates people of a certain position in life from 
any acquaintance with the movements of human nature in 
circles below them, that the most fearful things may be 
transacting in their vicinity unknown or unnoticed. The 
horrors and sorrows of the slave-coffle were a sealed book 
to Nina and Anne Clayton. They had scarcely dreamed of 
them ; and Uncle John, if he knew their existence, took 
very good care to keep out of their way, as he would turn 
from any other painful and disagreeable scene. 



14 MORE SUMMER TALK. 

All of them had heard something- of negro-hunters, and 
regarded them as low, vulgar people, but troubled their 
heads little further on the subject ; so that they would have 
been quite at a loss for the discovery of any national sins 
that could have appropriately drawn down the denunciations 
of Heaven. 

The serious thoughts and aspirations which might have 
risen in any of the company, the evening before, assumed, 
with everything else, quite another light under the rays of 
morning. 

All of us must have had experience, in our own histories, 
of the great difference between the night and the morning- 
view of the same subject. 

What we have thought and said in the august presence 
of witnessing stars, or beneath the holy shadows of 
moonlight, seems with the hot, dry light of next day's sun 
to take wings, and rise to heaven with the night's clear 
drops. If all the prayers and good resolutions which are 
laid down on sleeping pillows could be found there on 
awaking, the world would be better than it is. 

Of this Uncle John Gordon had experience, as he sat 
himself down at the breakfast-table. The night before, he 
realized, in some dim wise, that he, Mr. John Gordon, was 
not merely a fat, elderly gentleman, in blue coat and white 
vest, whose great object in existence was to eat well, drink 
well, sleep well, wear clean linen, and keep out of the way 
of trouble. He had within him a tumult of yearnings and 
aspirings, — uprisings of that great, life-long sleeper, 
which we call soul, and which, when it wakes, is an awfully 
clamorous, craving, exacting, troublesome inmate, and which 
is therefore generally put asleep again in the shortest 
time, hy whatever opiates may come to hand. Last night, 
urged on by this troublesome guest, stimulated by the 
vague power of such awful words as judgment and eternity, 
he had gone out and knelt down as a mourner for sin 
and a seeker for salvation, both words standing for very 
real and awful facts ; and, this morning, although it was 



MORE SUMMER TALK. 15 

probably a more sensible and appropriate tiling- than most 
of the things he was in the habit of doing, he was almost 
ashamed of it. The question arose, at table, whether 
another excursion should be made to the camp-ground. 

" For my part," said Aunt Maria, " I hope you '11 not go 
again, Mr. Gordon. I think you had better keep out of the 
way of such things. I really was vexed to see you in that 
rabble of such very common people ! " 

"You'll observe," said Uncle John, "that, when Mrs. 
G. goes to heaven, she '11 notify the Lord, forthwith, that 
she has only been accustomed to the most select circles, 
and requests to be admitted at the front door." 

" It is n't because I object to being with common people," 
said Anne Clayton, "that I dislike this custom of going to 
the altar ; but it seems to me an invasion of that privacy 
and reserve which belong to our most sacred feelings. Be- 
sides, there are in a crowd coarse, rude, disagreeable 
people, with whom it is n't pleasant to come in contact." 

" For my part," said Mrs. John Gordon, "I don't believe 
in it at all ! It 's a mere temporary excitement. People 
go and get wonderfully wrought up, come away, and are 
just what they were before." 

" Well," said Clayton, " is n't it better to be wrought up 
once in a while, than never to have any religious feelings ? 
Is n't it better to have a vivid impression of the vastness 
and worth of the soul, — of the power of an endless life, — 
for a few hours once a year, than never to feel it at all ? 
The multitudes of those people, there, never hear or think a 
word of these things at any other time in their lives. For 
my part," he added, " I don't see why it 's a thing to be 
ashamed of, if Mr. Gordon or I should have knelt at the 
altar last night, even if we do not feel like it this morning. 
We are too often ashamed of our better moments ; — I 
believe Protestant Christians are the only people on earth 
who are ashamed of the outward recognition of their reli- 
gion. The Mahometan will prostrate himself in the street, 
or wherever he happens to be when his hour for prayer 

ii. 2* 



16 MORE SUMMER TALK. 

comes. The Roman Catholic sailor, or soldier, kneels down 
at the sound of the vesper bell. But we rather take pride 
in having it understood that we take our religion moderately 
and coolly, and that we are not going to put ourselves 
much out about it." 

"Well, but, brother," said Anne, "I will maintain, 
still, that there is a reserve about these things which belongs 
to the best Christians. And did not our Saviour tell us 
that our prayers and alms should be in secret ? " 

" I do not deny at all what you say, Anne," said Clay- 
ton ; " but I think what I said is true, notwithstanding ; 
and, both being true, of course, in some way they must be 
consistent with each other." 

" 1 think," said Nina, " the sound of the singing at these 
camp-meetings is really quite spirit-stirring and exciting." 

"Yes," said Clayton, "these wild tunes, and the hymns 
with which they are associated, form a kind of forest lit- 
urgy, in which the feelings of thousands of hearts have been 
embodied. Some of the tunes seem to me to have been 
caught from the song of birds, or from the rushing of wind 
among the branches. They possess a peculiar rhythmical 
energy, well suited to express the vehement emotions of 
the masses. Did camp-meetings do no other good than to 
scatter among the people these hymns and tunes, I should 
consider them to be of inestimable value." 

" I must say," said Anne, " I always had a prejudice 
against that class both of hymns and tunes." 

" You misjudge them," said Clayton, " as you refined, 
cultivated women always do, who are brought up in the 
kid-slipper and carpet view of human life. But just imagine 
only the old Greek or Roman peasantry elevated to the 
level of one of these hymns. Take, for example, a verse 
of one I heard them sing last night : 

< The earth shall be dissolved like snow, 
The sun shall cease to shine, 
But God, who called me here below, 
Shall be forever mine.' 



MORE SUMMER TALK. 17 

What faith is there ! What confidence in immortality ! 
How could a man feel it, and not be ennobled ? Then, 
what a rough, hearty heroism was in that first hymn ! It 
was right manly ! " 

"Ah, but," said Anne, " half the time they sing them 
without the slightest perception of their meaning, or the 
least idea of being influenced by them." 

" And so do the worshippers in the sleepiest and most 
aristocratic churches," said Clayton. " That 's nothing pe- 
culiar to the camp-ground. But, if it is true, what a certain 
statesman once said, ' Let me make the ballads of the 
people, and I care not who makes their laws,' it is certainly 
a great gain to have such noble sentiments as many of 
these hymns contain, circulating freely among the people." 

" What upon earth," said Uncle John, " do you suppose 
that last fellow was about, up in the clouds, there ? No- 
body seemed ^o know where he was, or who he was ; and 
I thought his discourse seemed to be rather an unexpected 
addition. lie put it into us pretty strong, I thought ! De- 
clare, such a bundle of woes and curses I never heard dis- 
tributed ! Seemed to have done up all the old prophets 
into one bundle, and tumbled it down upon our heads ! 
Some of them were quite superstitious about it, and began 
talking about warnings, and all that." 

" Pooh ! " said Aunt Maria, "the likelihood is that some 
itinerant poor preacher has fallen upon this trick for produc- 
ing a sensation. There is no end to the trickeries and the 
got-up scenes in these camp-meetings, just to produce effect. 
If I had had a pistol, I should like to have fired into the tree, 
and see whether I couldn't have changed his tune." 

" It seemed to me," said Clayton, " from the little that I 
did hear, that there was some method in his madness. It 
was one of the most singular and impressive voices I ever 
heard ; and, really, the enunciation of some of those latter 
things was tremendous. But, then, in the universal 
license 'and general confusion of the scene, the thing was 
not so much to be wondered at. It would be the most 



18 MORE SUMMER TALK. 

natural thing in the world, that some crazy fanatic should 
be heated almost to the point of insanity by the scene, and 
take this way of unburthening himself. Such excitements 
most generally assume the form of denunciation." 

"Well, now," said Nina, "to tell the truth, I should 
like to go out again to-day. It 's a lovely ride, and I like 
to be in the woods. And, then, I like to walk around among 
the tents, and hear the people talk, and see all the different 
specimens of human nature that are there. I never saw 
such a gathering together in my life." 

"Agreed!" said Uncle John. "I'll go with you. 
After all, Clayton, here, has got the right of it, when he 
says a fellow ought n't to be ashamed of his religion, such 
as it is." 

" Such as it is, to be sure ! " said Aunt Maria, sarcas- 
tically. 

" Yes, I say again, such as it is ! " said Uncle John, 
bracing himself. "I don't pretend it's much. We'll all, 
of us bear to be a good deal better, without danger of 
being translated. Now, as to this being converted, hang 
me if I know how to get at it ! I suppose that it is some- 
thing like an electric shock, — if a fellow is going to get 
it, he must go up to the machine ! " 

"Well," said Nina, "you do hear some queer things 
there. Don't you remember that jolly, slashing-looking 
fellow, whom they called Bill Dakin, that came up there 
with his two dogs ? In the afternoon, after the regular ser- 
vices, we went to one of the tents where there was a very 
noisy prayer-meeting going on, and there was Bill Dakin, 
on his knees, with his hands clasped, and the tears rolling 
down his cheeks ; and father Bonnie was praying over him 
with all his might. And what do you think he said ? He 
said, ' 0, Lord, here 's Bill Dakin ; he is converted ; now 
take him right to heaven, now he is ready, or he '11 be drunk 
again in two weeks ! ' " 

"Well," said Anne Clayton, tossing her head, indig- 
nantly, " that's blasphemy, in my opinion." 



MORE SUMMER TALK. 19 

" 0, perhaps not," said Clayton, " any more than the 
clownish talk of any of our servants is intentional rude- 
ness." 

" Well," said Anne, "don't you think it shows a great 
want of perception ? " 

" Certainly, it does/' said Clayton. " It shows great 
rudeness and coarseness of fibre, and is not at all to be 
commended. But still we are not to judge of it by the 
rules of cultivated society. In well-trained minds every 
faculty keeps its due boundaries ; but, in this kind of wild- 
forest growth, mirthfulness will sometimes overgrow rever- 
ence, just as the yellow jessamine will completely smother 
a tree. A great many of the ordinances of the old Mosaic 
dispensation were intended to counteract this very tend- 
ency." 

"Well," said Nina, "did you notice poor Old Tiff, so 
intent upon getting his children converted? He didn't 
seem to have the least thought or reference to getting into 
heaven himself. The only thing with him was to get those 
children in. Tiff seems to me just like those mistletoes 
that we see on the trees in the swamps. He don't seem 
to have any root of his own ; he seems to grow out of 
something else." 

" Those children arc very pretty-looking, genteel chil- 
• dren," said Anne ; " and how well they were dressed ! " 

"My clear," said Nina, "Tiff prostrates himself at my 
shrine, every time he meets me, to implore my favorable 
supervision as to that point ; and it really is diverting to 
hear him talk. The old Caliban has an eye for color, and a 
sense of what is suitable, equal to any French milliner. I 
assure you, my dear, I always was reputed for having a 
talent fur dress ; and Tiff appreciates me. Is n't it charming 
of him ? I declare, when I see the old creature lugging 
about those children, I always think of an ugly old cactus 
with its blossoms. I believe he verily thinks they belong 
to him just as much. Their father is entirely dismissed from 
Tiff's calculations. Evidently all he wants of him is to 



20 MORE SUMMER TALK. 

keep out of the way, and let him work. The whole burden 
of their education lies on his shoulders." 

"For my part," said Aunt Nesbit, "I'm glad you've 
faith to believe in those children. I have n't ; they'll be 
sure to turn out badly — you see if they don't." 

" And I think," said Aunt Maria, " we have enough to 
do with our own servants, without taking all these miser- 
able whites on our hands, too." 

" I 'm not going to take all the whites," said Nina. " I 'm 
going to take these children." 

" I wish you joy ! " said Aunt Maria. 

"I wonder," said Aunt Nesbit, "if Harry is under 
concern of mind. He seems to be dreadfully down, this 
morning." 

" Is he ? " said Nina. " I had n't noticed it." 

" Well," said Uncle John, "perhaps he '11 get set up, to- 
day — who knows? In -fact, I hope I shall myself. I tell 
you what it is, parson," said he, laying his hand on Clay- 
ton's shoulder, " you should take the gig, to-day, and drive 
this little sinner, and let me go with the ladies. Of course 
you know Mrs. G. engrosses my whole soul ; but, then, 
there 's a kind of insensible improvement that comes from 
such celestial bodies as Miss Anne, here, that ought n't to 
be denied to me. The clergy ought to enumerate female 
influence among the means of grace. I 'm sure there 's 
nothing builds me up like it." 

Clayton, of course, assented very readily to this arrange- 
ment ; and the party was adjusted on this basis. 

" Look ye here, now, Clayton," said Uncle John, tipping 
him a sly wink, after he had handed Nina in, "you must 
confess that little penitent ! She wants a spiritual director, 
my boy ! I tell you what, Clayton, there is n't a girl like 
that in North Carolina. There 's blood, sir, there. You 
Mist humor her on the bit, and give her her head a while. 
Ah, but she '11 draw well at last ! I always like a creature 
that kicks to pieces harness, wagon, and all, to begin with. 
They do the best when they are broken in." 



MOKE SUMMER TALK. 21 

With which profound remarks Uncle John turned to hand 
Anne Clayton to the carriage. 

Clayton understood too well what he was about to make 
any such use of the interview as Uncle John had suggested. 
He knew perfectly that his best chance, with a nature so 
restless as Nina's, was to keep up a sense of perfect free- 
dom in all their intercourse ; and, therefore, no grandfather 
could have been more collected and easy in a tete-a-tete 
drive than he. The last conversation at the camp-meeting 
he knew had brought them much nearer to each other than 
they had ever stood before, because both had spoken in deep 
earnestness of feeling of what lay deepest in their hearts ; 
and one such moment he well knew was of more binding 
force than a hundred nominal betrothals. 

The morning was one of those perfect ones which succeed 
a thunder-shower in the night ; when the air, cleared of 
every gross vapor, and impregnate^vith moist exhalations 
from the woods, is both balmy and stimulating. The steam- 
ing air developed to the full the balsamic properties of the 
pine-groves through which they rode ; and, where the road 
skirted the swampy land, the light fell slanting on the leaves 
of the deciduous trees, rustling and dripping with the last 
night's shower. The heavens were full of those brilliant, 
island-like clouds, which are said to be a peculiarity of 
American skies, in their distinct relief above the intense 
blue. At a long distance they caught the sound of camp- 
meeting hymns. But, before they reached the ground, 
they saw, in more than one riotous group, the result of too 
frecpient an application to Abijah Skinflint's department, 
and others of a similar character. They visited the quar- 
ters of Old Tiff, whom they found busy ironing some clothes 
for the baby, which he had washed and hung out the night 
before. The preaching had not yet commenced, and the 
party walked about among the tents. Women were busy 
cooking and washing dishes under the trees ; and there 
was a great deal of good-natured gossiping. 

One of the most remarkable features of the day was a 



22 MOKE SUMMER TALK. 

sermon from father Dickson, on the sins of the church. It 
concluded with a most forcible and solemn appeal to all 
on the subject of slavery. He reminded both the Metho- 
dists and Presbyterians that their books of discipline had 
most pointedly and unequivocally condemned it ; that John 
Wesley had denounced it as the sum of all villanies, and 
that the general assemblies of the Presbyterian church had 
condemned it as wholly inconsistent with the religion of 
Christ, with the great law which requires us to love others 
as ourselves. He related the scene which he had lately 
witnessed in the slave-coffle. He spoke of the horrors of 
the inter-state slave-trade, and drew a touching picture of 
the separation of families, and the rending of all domestic 
and social ties, which resulted from it ; and, alluding to the 
unknown speaker of the evening before, told his audience 
that he had discerned a deep significance in his words, and 
that he feared, if there was not immediate repentance and 
reformation, the land would yet be given up to the visita- 
tions of divine wrath. As he spoke with feeling, he awak- 
ened feeling in return. Many were affected even to tears ; 
but, when the sermon was over, it seemed to melt away, as 
a wave flows back again into the sea. It was far easier to 
join in a temporary whirlwind of excitement, than to take 
into consideration troublesome, difficult, and expensive 
reforms. 

Yet, still, it is due to the degenerate Christianity of the 
slave states to say, that, during the long period in which 
the church there has been corrupting itself, and lowering its 
standard of right to meet a depraved institution, there have 
not been wanting, from time to time, noble confessors, who 
have spoken for God and humanity. For many years they 
were listened to with that kind of pensive tolerance which 
men give when they acknowledge their fault without any 
intention of mending. Of late years, however, the lines 
have been drawn more sharply, and such witnesses have 
spoken in peril of their lives ; so that now seldom a voice 
arises except in approbation of oppression. 



MORE SUMMER TALK. 23 

The sermon was fruitful of much discussion in different 
parts of the camp-ground ; and none, perhaps, was louder 
in the approbation of it than the Georgia trader, who, seated 
on Abijah's Skinflint's counter, declared : " That was a, par- 
son as was a parson, and that he liked his pluck ; and, for 
his part, when ministers and church-members would give 
over buying, he should take up some other trade." 

"That was a very good sermon," said Nina, "and I 
believe every word of it. But, then, what do you suppose 
toe ought to do ? " 

" Why," said Clayton, "we ought to contemplate eman- 
cipation as a future certainty, and prepare our people in the 
shortest possible time." 

This conversation took place as the party were seated 
at their nooning under the trees, around an unpacked 
hamper of cold provisions, which they were leisurely dis- 
cussing. 

" Why, bless my soul, Clayton," said Uncle John, "I 
don't see the sense of such an anathema maranatha as we 
got to-day. Good Lord, what earthly harm are we doing ? 
As to our niggers, they are better off than we are ! I say 
it coolly — that is, as coolly as a man can say anything 
between one and two o'clock, in such weather as this. 
Why, look at my niggers ! Do I ever have any chickens, 
or eggs, or cucumbers ? No, to be sure. All my chickens 
die, and the cut-worm plays the devil with my cucumbers ; 
but the niggers have enough. Theirs flourish like a green 
bay tree ; and of course 1 have to buy of them. Tliey raise 
chickens, /buy 'em, and cook 'em, and then they eat 'em ! 
That 's the way it goes. As to the slave-coffles, and slave- 
prisons, and the trade, why, that 's abominable, to be sure. 
But, Lord bless you, / don't want it done ! I 'd kick a 
trader off my door-steps forthwith, though I 'm all eaten up 
with woolly-heads, like locusts. I don't like such sermons, 
for my part." 

" Well," said Aunt Nesbit, " our Mr. Titmarsh preached 
quite another way when T attended church in E He 

IT S 



24 MORE SUMMER TALK. 

proved that slavery was a scriptural institution, and estab- 
lished by God." 

"I should think anybody's common sense would show 
that a thing which works so poorly for both sides couldn't 
be from God," said Nina. 

" Who is Mr. Titmarsh ?" said Clayton to her, aside. 

" 0, one of . Aunt Nesbit's favorites, and one of my avei 
sions ! lie isn't a man — he's nothing- but a theological 
dictionary with a cravat on ! I can't bear him ! " 

" Now, people may talk as much as they please of the 
educated democracy of the north," said Uncle John, "i 
don't like 'em. What do working-men want of education ? 
— Euins 'em ! I've heard of their learned blacksmiths 
bothering around, neglecting- their work, to make speeches. 
I don't like such things. It raises them above their sphere. 
And there 's nothing going on up in those Northern States 
but a constant confusion and hubbub. All sorts of heresies 
come from the North, and infidelity, and the Lord knows 
what ! We have peace, down here. To be sure, our poor 
whites are in a devil of a fix ; but we have n't got 'em 
under yet. We shall get 'em in, one of these days, with 
our niggers, and then all will be contentment." 

" Yes," said Nina, "there 's Uncle John's view of the mil- 
lennium ! " 

" To be sure," said Uncle John, " the lower classes want 
governing — they want care ; that 's what they want. And 
all they need to know is, what the Episcopal church cate- 
chism says, ' to learn and labor truly to get their own living 
in the state wherein it has pleased God to call them.' That 
makes a well-behaved lower class, and a handsome, gentle- 
manly, orderly state of society. The upper classes ought 
to be instructed in their duties. They ought to be consid- 
erate and condescending, and all that. That 's my view of 
society." 

"Then you are no republican," said Clayton. 

" Bless you, yes, I am ! I believe in the equality of gen- 



MORE SUMMER TALK. 2b 

tlemen, and the equal rights of well-bred people. That's 
my idea of a republic. " 

Clayton, Nina, and Anne, laughed. 

" Now," said Nina, "to see uncle so jovial and free, and 
'Hail fellow well met,' with everybody, you'd think he 
was the greatest democrat that ever walked. But, you see, 
it 's only because he 's so immeasurably certain of his su- 
perior position — that's all. He isn't afraid to kneel at the 
altar with Bill Dakin, or Jim Sykes, because he 's so sure 
that his position can't be compromised." 

"Besides that, chick," said Uncle John, "I have the 
sense to know that, in my Maker's presence, all human 
differences are child's play." And Uncle John spoke with 
a momentary solemnity which was heartfelt. 

It was agreed by the party that they would not stay to 
attend the evening exercises. The novelty of the effect 
was over, and Aunt Nesbit spoke of the bad effects of 
falling dew and night air. Accordingly, as soon as the air 
was sufficiently cooled to make riding practicable, the party 
were again on their way home 

The woodland path was streaked with green and golden 
bands of light thrown between the tree-trunks across the 
way, and the trees reverberated with the evening song of 
birds. Nina and Clayton naturally fell into a quiet and 
subdued train of conversation. 

" It is strange," said Nina, " these talkings and search- 
ings about religion. Now, there are people who have 
something they call religion, which I don't think does them 
any good. It is n't of any use — it does n't make them 
better — and it makes them very disagreeable I wonld 
rather be as I am, than to have what they call religion. 
But, then, there are others that have something which I 
know is religion ; something that I know I have not ; some- 
thing that I 'd give all the world to have, and don't know 
how to get. Now, there was Livy Ray — you ought to 
have seen Livy Ray — there was something so superior 
about her : and, what was extraordinary is, that she was 



26 MORE SUMMER TALK. 

good without being stupid. What do you suppose the 
reason is that good people are generally so stupid ? " 

" A great deal," said Clayton, " is called goodness, which 
is nothing but want of force. A person is said to have 
self-government simply because he has nothing to govern. 
They talk about self-denial, when their desires are so weak 
that one course is about as easy to them as another. Such 
people easily fall into a religious routine, get by heart a 
set of phrases, and make, as you say, very stupid, good 
people." 

"Now, Livy," said Nina, "was remarkable. She had 
that kind of education that they give girls in New England, 
stronger and more like a man's than ours. She could read 
Greek and Latin as easily as she could French and Italian. 
She was keen, shrewd, and witty, and had a kind of wild 
grace about her, like these grape-vines ; yet she was so 
strong! Well, do you know, I almost worship Livy ? And 
I think, the little while she was in our school, she did me 
more good than all the teachers and studying put together. 
Why, it does one good to know that such people are possi- 
ble. Don't you think it does ? " 

" Yes," said Clayton ; "all the good in the world is done 
by the personality of people. Now, in books, it is n't so 
much what you learn from them, as the contact it gives you 
with the personality of the writer, that improves you. A 
real book always makes you feel that there is more in the 
writer than anything that he has said." 

"That," said Nina, eagerly, "is just the way I feel 
toward Livy. She seems to me like a mine. When I was 
with her the longest, I always felt as if I had n't half seen 
her. She always made me hungry to know her more. I 
mean to read you some of her letters, some time. She 
writes beautiful letters ; and I appreciate that very much, 
because I can't do it. I can talk better than I can write. 
Somehow my ideas will not take a course down through 
my arms ; they always will run up to my mouth. But you 
ought to see Livy ; such people always make me very dis- 



MORE SUMMER TALK. 27 

contented with myself. I don't know what the reason is 
that I like to see superior people, and things, when they 
always make me realize what a poor concern I am. Now, 
the first time I heard Jenny Lind sing, it spoiled all my 
music and all my songs for me, — turned them all to trash 
at one stroke, — and yet I liked it. But I don't seem to have 
got any further in goodness than just dissatisfaction with 
myself." 

" Well," said Clayton, " there 's where the foundation- 
stone of all excellence is laid. The very first blessing that 
Christ pronounced was on those who were poor in spirit. 
The indispensable condition to all progress in art, science, 
or religion, is to feel that we have nothing." 

" Do you know," said Nina, after something of a 
pause, " that I can't help wondering what you took up 
with me for ? I have thought very often that you ought to 
have Livy Ray." 

" Well, I 'm much obliged to you," said Clayton, " for 
your consideration in providing for me. But, supposing I 
should prefer my own choice, after all ? We men are a little 
wilful, sometimes, like you of the gentler sex." 

" Well," said Nina, " if you will have the bad taste, then, 
to insist on liking me, let me warn you that you don't know 
what you are about. I 'm a very unformed, unpractical 
person. I don't keep accounts. I 'm nothing at all of a 
housekeeper. I shall leave open drawers, and scatter 
papers, and forget the day of the month, and tear the news- 
paper, and do everything else that is wicked ; and then, one 
of these days, it will be, ' Nina, why have n't you done this ? 
and why have n't you done that ? and why don't you do the 
other ? and why do you do something else ? ' All, I 've heard 
you men talk before ! And, then, you see, I shan't like 
it, and I shan't behave well. Have n't the least hope of it ; 
won't ever engage to ! — So, now, won't you take warn- 
ing ? " 

" No," said Clayton, looking at her with a curious kind 
of smile, " I don't think I shall." 
ii 3* 



28 MORE SUMMER TALK. 

" How dreadfully positive and self-willed men are ! " said 
Nina, drawing' a long breath, and pretending to laugh. 

" There 's so little of that in you ladies," said Clayton, 
" we have to do it for both." 

" So, then," said Nina, looking round with a half-laugh 
and half-blush, " you will persist ? " 

" Yes, you wicked little witch ! " said Clayton, "since you 
challenge me, I will." And, as he spoke, he passed his 
arm round Nina firmly, and fixed his eyes on hers. " Come, 
now, my little Baltimore oriole, have I caught you ? " And 
But we are making our chapter too long. 



CHAPTER III. 

millt's eetuen. 

The visit of Clayton and his sister, like all other pleasant 
things, had its end. Clayton was called back to his law- 
office and books, and Anne went to make some summer visits 
previous to her going to Clayton's plantation of Magnolia 
Grove, where she was to superintend his various schemes 
for the improvement of his negroes. 

Although it was gravely insisted to the last that there 
was no engagement between Nina and Clayton, it became 
evident enough to all parties that only the name was want- 
ing. The warmest possible friendship existed between Nina 
and Anne ; and, notwithstanding that Nina almost every day 
said something which crossed Anne's nicely-adjusted views, 
and notwithstanding Anne had a gentle infusion of that 
disposition to sermonize which often exists in very excellent 
young ladies, still the two got on excellently well together. 

It is to be confessed that, the week after they left, Nina was 
rather restless and lonesome, and troubled to pass her time. 
An incident, which we shall relate, however, gave her 
something to think of, and opens a new page in our story. 

While sitting on the veranda, after breakfast, her atten- 
tion was called by various exclamations from the negro 
department, on the right side of the mansion ; and, looking 
out, to her great surprise, she saw Hilly standing amid a 
group, who were surrounding her with eager demonstra- 
tions. Immediately she ran down the steps to inquire what 
it might mean. Approaching nearer, she was somewhat 
startled to see that her old friend had her head bound up 



30 MLLLY'si RETURN. 

and her arm in a sling ; and, as she came towards her, she 
observed that she seemed to walk with difficulty, with a 
gait quite different from her usual firm, hilarious tread. 

" Why, Milly ! " she said, running towards her with 
eagerness, " what is the matter?" 

" Not much, chile, 1 reckon, now I 's got home ! " said 
Milly. 

" Well, but what 's the matter with your arm ? " 

" No great ! Dat ar man shot me ; but, praise de Lord, 
he did n't kill me ! I don't owe him no grudge ; but I 
thought it wan't right and fit that I should be treated so ; 
and so I just put!" 

"Why, come in the house this minute!" said Nina, 
laying hold of her friend, and drawing her towards the steps. 
" It 's a shame ! Come in, Milly, come in ! That man ! I 
knew he was n't to be trusted. So, this is the good place 
he found for you, is it ? " 

" Jes so," said Tomtit, who, at the head of a dark 
stream of young juveniles, came after, with a towel hanging 
over one arm, and a knife half cleaned in his hand, while 
Rose and Old Hundred, and several others, followed to the 
veranda. 

" Laws-a-me ! " said Aunt Rose, "just to think on't! 
Dat 's what 't is for old fam'lies to hire der niggers out to 
common people ! " 

" Well," said Old Hundred, " Milly was allers too high 
feelin' ; held her head up too much An't no ways surprised 
at it ! " 

" 0, go 'long, you old hominy-beetle ! " said Aunt Rose 
" Don't know nobody 'dat holds up der head higher nor you 
does ! " 

Nina, after having dismissed the special train of the 
juveniles and servants, began to examine into the condition 
of her friend. The arm hud evidently been gruzed by a 
bullet, producing somewhat of a deep flesh-wound, which 
had been aggravated by the heat of the weather and the 
fatigue which she had undergone. On removing the 



milly's return. 31 

bandage around her head, a number of deep and severe flesh- 
cuts were perceived. 

" What 's all this ? " said Nina. 

" It 's whar he hit me over de head ! He was in driuk, 
chile ; he did n't well know what he was 'bout! " 

" What an abominable shame ! " said Nina. " Look 
here," turning round to Aunt Nesbit, " see what comes of 
hiring Milly out! " 

" I am sure I don't know what 's to be done ! " said 
Aunt Nesbit, pitifully. 

"Done! why, of course, these are to be bandaged and 
put up, in the first place," said Nina, bustling about with 
great promptness, tearing off bandages, and ringing for 
warm water. " Aunt Milly, I '11 do them up for you myself. 
I 'm a pretty good nurse, when I set about it." 

" Bless you, chile, but it seems good to get home 'mong 
friends ! " 

" Yes ; and you won't go away again in a hurry ! " 
said Nina, as she proceeded rapidly with her undertaking, 
washing and bandaging the wound. " There, now," she 
said, " you look something like ; and now you shall lie down 
in my room, and take a little rest ! " 

" Thank ye, honey, chile, but I '11 go to my own room ; 
'pears like it 's more home like," said Milly. And Nina, 
with her usual energy, waited on her there, closed the 
blinds, and spread a shawl over her after she had lain down, 
and, after charging her two or three times to go to sleep 
and be quiet, she left her. She could hardly wait to have 
her get through her nap, so full was she of the matter, and 
so interested to learn the particulars of her story. 

" A pretty business, indeed ! " she said to Aunt Nesbit. 
" We '11 prosecute those people, and make them pay dear 
for it." 

" That will be a great expense," said Aunt Nesbit, appre- 
hensively, " besides the loss of her time." 

" Well," said Nina, " I shall write to Clayton about it 
directly. I know he '11 feel just as I do. He understands 



6Z MILLY'S RETURN. 

the law, and all about those things, and he '11 know how to 
manage it." 

" Everything - will make expense ! " said Aunt Nesbit, 
in a deplorable voice. " I 7 m sure misfortunes never 
come single ! Now, if she don't go back, I shall lose her 
wages ! And here 's all the expenses of a law-suit, besides 1 
I think she ought to have been more careful." 

" Why, aunt, for pity's sake, you don't pretend that you 
wish Milly to go back ? " 

"0, no, of course I don't; but, then, it's a pity. It 
will be a great loss, every way." 

" Why, aunt, you really talk as if you did n't think of 
anything but your loss. You don't seem to think anything 
about what Milly has had to suffer ! " 

" Why, of course, I feel sorry for that," said Aunt Nes- 
bit. " I wonder if she is going to be laid up long. I wish, 
on the whole, I had hired out one that was n't quite so use- 
ful to me." 

" Now, if that is n't just like her ! " said Nina, in 
an indignant tone, as she flung out of the room, and 
went to look softly in at Milly's door. " Never can see, 
hear, or think, of anything but herself, no matter what 
happens ! I wonder why Milly could n't have belonged to 
me ! " 

After two or three hours' sleep, Milly came out of her 
room, seeming much better. A perfectly vigorous phys- 
ical system, and vital powers all moving in the finest 
order, enabled her to endure much more than ordinary ; and 
Nina soon became satisfied that no material injury had 
been sustained, and that in a few days she would be quite 
recovered. 

" And now, Milly, do pray tell me where you have been," 
said Nina, " and what this is all about." 

" Why, you see, honey, I was hired to Mr. Barker, and 
dey said ' he was a mighty nice man ; ' and so he was, honey, 
most times ; but, den, you see, honey, dere 's some folks 
dere 's two men in 'em, — one is a good one; and t' oder is 



milly's return. 33 

very bad. Well, dis yer was just dat sort. You see, 
honey, I wouldn't go for to say dat he got drunk ; but he 
was dat sort dat if he took ever so little, it made him kind 
o' ugiy and cross, and so dere wan't no suiting him. 
Well, his wife, she was pretty far ; and so he was, too, 
'eept in spots. He was one of dese yer streaked men, dat 
has drefful ugly streaks ; and, some of dem times, de 
Lord only knows what he won't do ! Well, you see, honey, 
I thought I was getting along right well, at first, and I was 
mighty pleased. But dere was one day he came home, and 
'peared like dere could n't nobody suit him. Well, you 
see, dey had a gal dere, and she had a chile, and dis yer 
chile was a little thing. It got playing with a little burnt 
stick, and it blacked one of his clean shirts, I had just hung 
up,— for I'd been ironing, you see. Just den he came 
along, and you never heerd a man go on so ! I 's heerd 
bad talk afore, but I never heerd no sich ! He swore 
he 'd kill de chile ; and I thought my soul he would ! De 
por little thing run behind me, and I just kep him off on 
it, 'cause I knowed he wan't fit to touch it ; and den he 
turned on me, and he got a cow-hide, and he beat me over 
de head. I thought my soul he 'd kill me ! But I got to 
de door, and shut de chile out, and Hannah, she took it and 
run with it. But, bless you, it 'peared like he was a tiger, 
— screeching, and foaming, and beating me I I broke away 
from him, and run. He just caught de rifle,- — -he alwaj^s 
kep one loaded, — and shot at me, and de ball just struck 
my arm, and glanced off again. Bless de Lord, it didn't 
break it. Dat ar was a mighty close run , I can tell you ! 
But I did run, 'cause, thinks I, dere an't no safety for me 
in dat ar house ; and, you see, I run till I got to de bush, 
and den I got to whar dere was some free colored folks, and 
dey did it up, and kep me a day or two. Den I started 
and came home, just as you told me to." 

" Well," said Nina, " you did well to come home ; and I 
tell you what, I 'm going to have that man prosecuted ! " 

" 0, laws, no, Miss Nina ! don't you goes doing nothing 



34 milly's return. 

to him ! His wife is a mighty nice woman, and 'peared like 
he did n't rightly know what he was 'bout." 

"Yes, but, Milly, you ought to be willing, because it 
may make him more careful with other people." 

" Laws, Miss Nina, why, dere is some seuse in dat ; but 
I would n't do it as bearing malice." 

" Not at all," said Nina. " 1 shall write to Mr. Clayton, 
and take his advice about it." 

" lie 's a good man," said Milly. " He won't say 
nothing dat an't right. 1 spect dat will do very well, dat 
ar way." 

" Yes," said Nina, " such people must be taught that the 
law will take hold of them. That will bring them to their 
bearings ! " 

Nina went immediately to her room, and despatched a 
long letter to Clayton, full of all the particulars, and beg- 
ging his immediate assistance. 

Our readers, those who have been in similar circum- 
stances, will not wonder that Clayton saw in this letter 
an immediate call of duty to go to Canema. In fact, as 
soon as the letter could go to him, and he could perform a 
rapid horseback journey, he was once more a member of 
the domestic circle. 

He entered upon the case with great confidence and 
enthusiasm. 

" It is a debt which we owe," he said, " to the character 
of our state, and to the purity of our institutions, to prove 
the efficiency of the law in behalf of that class of our pop- 
ulation whose helplessness places them more particularly 
under our protection. They are to us in the condition of 
children under ag*e ; and any violation of their rights should 
be more particularly attended to." 

lie went immediately to the neighboring town, where 
Milly had been employed, and found, fortunately, that the 
principal facts had been subject to the inspection of white 
witnesses. 

A woman, who had been hired to do some sewing, had 



milly's return. 35 

been in the next room during 1 the whole time ; and Milly's 
flight from the house, and the man's firing after her, had 
been observed by some workmen in the neighborhood. 
Everything, therefore, promised well, and the suit was en- 
tered forthwith, 
ii. 4 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE TRIAL. 

" Well, now," said Frank Russel, to one or two law- 
yers with whom he was sitting, in a side-room of the court- 
house at E., " look out for breakers ! Clayton has mounted 
his war-horse, and is coming upon us, now, like leviathan 
from the rushes." 

" Clayton is a good fellow," said one of them. " I like 
him, though he does n't talk much." 

" Good ? " said Russel, taking his cigar from his mouth ; 
" why, as the backwoodsmen say, he an't nothing else ! 
He is a great seventy-four pounder, charged to the muzzle 
with goodness ! But, if he should be once fired off, I 'm 
afraid he '11 carry everything out of the world with him. 
Because, you see, abstract goodness does n't suit our pres- 
ent mortal condition. But it is a perfect godsend that he 
has such a case as this to manage for his maiden plea, be- 
cause it just falls in with his heroic turn. Why, when I 
heard of it, I assure you I bestirred myself. I went about, 
and got Smithers, and Jones, and Peters, to put off suits, 
so as to give him fair field and full play. For, if he suc- 
ceeds in this, it may give him so good a conceit of the law, 
that he will keep on with it." 

" Why," said the other, " don't he like the law ? What 's 
the matter with the law ? " 

" 0, nothing, only Clayton has got one of those ethereal 
stomachs that rise against almost everything in this world. 
Now, there is n't more than one case in a dozen that he '11 
undertake. He sticks and catches just like an old bureau 



THE TRIAL. 37 

drawer. Some conscientious crick in his back is always 
taking him at a critical moment, and so he is knocked up 
for actual work. But this defending' a slave-woman will 
suit him to a T." 

" She is a nice creature, is n't she ? " said one of them. 

"And belongs to a good old family," said another. 

"Yes," said the third, "and I understand his lady-love 
has something to do with the case." 

" Yes," said Russel, " to be sure she has. The woman 
belongs to a family connection of hers, I 'm told. Miss 
Gordon is a spicy little puss — one that would be apt to 
resent anything of that sort ; and the Gordons are a very 
influential family. He is sure to get the case, though I 'm 
not clear that the law is on his side, by any means." 

" Not ? " said the other barrister, who went by the name 
of Will Jones. 

" No," said Russel. " In fact, I 'm pretty clear it isn't. 
But that will make no odds. When Clayton is thoroughly 
waked up, he is a whole team, I can tell you. He '11 take 
jury and judge along with him, fast enough." 

" I wonder," said one, "that Barker didn't compound 
the matter." 

" 0, Barker is one of the stubbed sort. You know these 
middling kind of people always have a spite against old 
families. He makes light because it is the Gordons, that's 
all. And there comes in his republicanism. He is n't go- 
ing to be whipped in by the Gordons. Barker has got 
Scotch blood in him, and he 'II hang on to the case like 
death." 

" Clayton will make a good speech," said Jones. 

"Speech? that he will!" said Russel. "Bless mo, I 
could lay off a good speech on it, myself. Because, you 
see, it really was quite an outrage ; and the woman is 
a presentable creature. And, then, there 's the humane 
dodge ; that can be taken, beside all the chivalry part of 
defending the helpless, and all that sort of thing. I 
would n't ask for a better thing to work up into a speech. 



SB THE TRIAL. 

But Clayton will do it better yet, because he is actually 
sincere in it. And, after all 's said and done, there 's a 
good deal in that. When a fellow speaks in solemn ear- 
nest, he gives a kind of weight that you can't easily get 
at any other way." 

"Well, but," said one, "I don't understand you, Rus- 
sel, why you think the law is n't on Clayton's side. I 'm 
sure it 's a very clear case of terrible abuse." 

" 0, certainly it is," said Russel, " and the man is a 
dolt, and a brute beast, and ought to be shot, and so forth ; 
but, then, he has n't really exceeded his legal limits, be- 
cause, you see, the law gives to the hirer all the rights of 
the master. There 's no getting away from that, in my 
opinion. Now, any master might have done all that, and 
nobody could have done anything about it. They do do it, 
for that matter, if they 're bad enough, and nobody thinks 
of touching them." 

"Well, I say," said Jones, "Russel, don't you think 
that's too bad? " 

" Laws, yes, man ; but the world is full of things that are 
too bad. It 's a bad kind of a place," said Russel, as he lit 
another cigar. 

" Well, how do you think Clayton is going to succeed," 
said Jones, " if the law is so clearly against him ? " 

" 0, bless you, you don't know Clayton. He is a glo- 
rious mystifier. In the first place, he mystifies himself. 
And, now, you mark me. When a powerful fellow mysti- 
fies himself, so that he really gets himself thoroughly on to 
his own side, there 's nobody he can't mystify. I speak it 
in sober sadness, Jones, that the want of this faculty is a 
great hindrance to me in a certain class of cases. You see 
I can put on the pathetic and heroic, after a sort ; but I 
don't take myself along with me — I don't really believe 
myself. There 's the trouble. It 's this power of self-mys- 
tification that makes what you call earnest men. If men 
saw the real bread and butter and green cheese of life, as 



THE TRIAL. 39 

I see it, — the hard, dry, primitive facts, — they could n't 
raise such commotions as they do." 

"Russelj it always makes me uncomfortable to hear you 
talk. It seems as if you did n't believe in anything ! " 

" 0, yes, I do," said Russel ; " I believe in the multipli- 
cation table, and several other things of that nature at the 
beginning of the arithmetic ; and, also, that the wicked 
will do wickedly. But, as to Clayton's splendid abstrac- 
tions, I only wish him joy of them. But, then, I shall be- 
lieve him while I hear him talk ; so will you ; so will all the 
rest ol us. That 's the fun of it. But the thing will be 
just whe. e it was before, and I shall find it so when I wake 
up to-morrow morning. It 's a pity such fellows as Clayton 
could n't be used as we use big guns. He is death on any- 
thing he fires at ; and if he only would let me load and 
point him, he and I together would make a firm that would 
sweep the land. But here he comes, upon my word." 

" Hallo, Clayton, all ready . " 

" Yes," said Clayton, " I believe so. When will the case 
be called ? " 

" To-day, I 'm pretty sure," said Russel. 

Clayton was destined to have something of an audience 
in his first plea ; for, the Gordons being an influential and 
a largely-connected family, there was quite an interest 
excited among them in the affair. Clayton also had many 
warm personal friends, and his father, mother, and sister, 
were to be present; for, though residing in a different part 
of the state, they were at this time on a visit in the vicinity 
of the town of E. 

There is something in the first essay of a young man, in 
any profession, like the first launching of a ship, which 
has a never-ceasing hold on human sympathies. Clayton's 
father, mother, and sister, with Nina, at the time of the 
dialogue \vc have given, were sitting together in the parlor 
of a friend's house in E., discussing the same event. 

" I am sure that he will get the case," said Anne Clay- 
ton, with the confidence of a generous woman and warm- 
n. 4* 



10 THE TKIAL. 

hearted sister. " He has been showing me the course of 
his argument, and it is perfectly irresistible. Has he said 
anything to you about it, father ? " 

Judge Cla} r ton had been walking up and down the room, 
with his hands behind him, with his usual air of considerate 
gravity. Stopping short at Anne's question, he said, 

" Edward's mind and mine work so differently, that I have 
not thought best to embarrass him by any conference on 
the subject. I consider the case an unfortunate one, and 
would rather he could have had some other." 

"Why," said Anne, eagerly, "don't you think he'll 
gain it ? " 

" Not if the case goes according to law," said Judge 
Clayton. " But, then, Edward has a great deal of power 
of eloquence, and a good deal of skill in making a diversion 
from the main point ; so that perhaps he may get the 
case." 

"Why," said Nina, " I thought cases were always decided 
according to law 1 What else do they make laws for ? " 

" You are very innocent, my child," said Judge Clayton. 

" But, father, the proof of the outrage is most abundant. 
Nobody could pretend to justify it." 

"Nobody will, child. But that's nothing to the case. 
The simple point is, did the man exceed his legal power ? 
It 's my impression he did not." 

" Father, what a horrible doctrine ! " said Anne 

" I simply speak of what is," said Judge Clayton. " I 
don't pretend to justify it. But Edward has great power 
of exciting the feelings, and under the influence of his 
eloquence the case may go the other way, and humanity 
triumph at the expense of law." 

Clayton's plea came on in the afternoon, and justified the 
expectations of his friends. His personal presence was 
good, his voice melodious, and his elocution fine. But 
what impressed his auditors, perhaps, more than these, was 
a certain elevation and clearness in the moral atmosphere 
around him, — a gravity and earnestness of conviction, 



THE TRIAL. 41 

which gave a secret power to all he said. He took up the 
doctrine of the dependent relations of life, and of those 
rules by which they should be guided and restrained ; and 
showed that while absolute power seems to be a neces- 
sary condition of many relations of life, both reason and 
common sense dictate certain limits to it. The law guar- 
antees to the parent, the guardian, and the master, the 
right of enforcing obedience by chastisement ; and the 
reason for it is, that the subject being supposed to be im- 
perfectly developed, his good will, on the whole, be better 
consulted by allowing to his lawful guardian this power." 

" The good of the subject," he said, " is understood to be 
the foundation of the right ; but, when chastisement is in- 
flicted without just cause, and in a manner so inconsiderate 
and brutal as to endanger the safety and well-being of the 
subject, the great foundation principle of the law is vio- 
lated. The act becomes perfectly lawless, and as incapable 
of legal defence as it is abhorrent to every sentiment of 
humanity and justice.'' 

" He should endeavor to show," he said, "by full testi- 
mony, that the case in question was one of this sort." 

In examining witnesses Clayton showed great dignity 
and acuteness, and as the feeling of the court was already 
prepossessed in his favor, the cause evidently gathered 
strength as it went on. The testimony showed, in the 
most conclusive manner, the general excellence of Milly's 
character, and the utter brutality of the outrage which had 
been committed upon her. In his concluding remarks, 
Clayton addressed the jury in a tone of great elevation and 
solemnity, on the duty of those to whom is intrusted the 
guardianship of the helpless. 

" No obligation," he said, " can be stronger to an hon- 
orable mind, than the obligation of entire dependence. The 
fact that a human being has no refuge from our power, no 
appeal from our decisions, so far from leading to careless 
security, is one of the strongest possible motives to caution, 
and to most exact care. The African race," he said, "had 



-i2 THE TRIAL. 

been bitter sufferers. Their history had been one of wrong 
and cruelty, painful to every honorable mind. We of the 
present day, who sustain the relation of slaveholder," 
he said, " receive from the hands of our fathers an awful 
trust. Irresponsible power is the greatest trial of human- 
ity, and if we do not strictly guard our own moral purity 
in the use of it, we shall degenerate into despots and 
tyrants. No consideration can justify us in holding this 
people in slavery an hour, unless we make this slavery 
a guardian relation, in which our superior strength and 
intelligence is made the protector and educator of their 
simplicity and weakness." 

" The eyes of the world are fastened upon us," he said. 
" Our continuing in this position at all is, in many quarters, 
matter of severe animadversion. Let us therefore show, 
by the spirit in which we administer our laws, by the 
impartiality with which we protect their rights, that the 
master of the helpless African is his best and truest friend." 

It was evident, as Clayton spoke, that he carried the 
whole of his audience with him. The counsel on the other 
side felt himself much straitened. There is very little 
possibility of eloquence in defending a manifest act of 
tyranny and cruelty ; and a man speaks, also, at great dis- 
advantage, who not only is faint-hearted in his own cause, 
but feels the force of the whole surrounding atmosphere 
against him. 

In fact, the result was, that the judge charged the jury, if 
they found the chastisement to have been disproportionate 
and cruel, to give verdict for the plaintiff. The jury, with 
little discussion, gave it unanimously accordingly, and so 
Clayton's first cause was won. 

If ever a woman feels proud of her lover, it is when she 
sees him as a successful public speaker ; and Nina, when the 
case was over, stood half-laughing, half-blushing, in a circle 
of ladies, who alternately congratulated and rallied her on 
Clayton's triumph. 

"Ah," said Frank Eussel, " we understand the magic ! 



THE TRIAL. 43 

The knight always fights well when, his lady-love looks 
down ! Miss Gordon must have the credit of this. She 
took all the strength out of the other side, — like the moun- 
tain of loadstone, that used to draw all the nails out of the 
ship." 

"I am glad," said Judge Clayton, as he walked home 
with his wife, " I am very glad that Edward has met with 
such success. His nature is so fastidious that I have had 
my fears that he would not adhere to the law. There are 
many things in it, I grant, which would naturally offend a 
fastidious mind, and one which, like his, is always idealizing 
lite. 

" lie has established a noble principle," said Mrs. Clay- 
ton. 

" I wish he had," said the judge. " It would be a very 
ungrateful task, but I could have shattered his argument 
all to pieces." 

" Don't tell him so ! " said Mrs. Clayton, apprehensively ; 
"let him have the comfort of it." 

" Certainly I shall. Edward is a good fellow, and I hope, 
after a while, he '11 draw well in the harness." 

Meanwhile, Frank Russel and Will Jones were walking 
along in another direction. 

" Did n't I tell you so ? " said Russel. " You see, Clay- 
ton run Bedford down, horse and foot, and made us all as 
solemn as a preparatory lecture." 

" But he had a good argument," said Jones. 

" To be sure he had — I never knew him to want that. 
JJe builds up splendid arguments, always, and the only 
tiling - to be said of him, after it's all over, is, it is n't so ; 
it 's no such thing. Barker is terribly wroth, I can assure 
you. He swears lie '11 appeal the case. But that 's no 
matter. Clayton has had his day all the same. lie is evi- 
dently waked up. 0, he has no more objection to a little 
popularity than you and I have, now ; and if we could hu- 
mor him along, as we would a trout, we should have him a 
first-rate lawyer, one of these days. Did you see Miss Gor- 



-L4 THE TRIAL. 

don while he was pleading? By George! she looked so 
handsome, I was sorry 1 had n't taken her myself! " 

"Is she that dashing little flirting Miss Gordon that I 
heard of in New York '( " 

" The very same." 

" How came she to take a fancy to him ? " 

" She ? How do I know? She 's as full of streaks as a 
tulip ; and her liking for him is one of them. Did you no- 
tice her, Will ? — scarf flying one way, and little curls, and 
pennants, and streamers, and veil, the other! And, then, 
those eyes ! She 's alive, every inch of her ! She puts me 
in mind of a sweet-brier bush, winking and blinking, full of 
dew-drops, full of roses, and brisk little thorns, beside ! 
Ah, she '11 keep him awake ! " 



CHAPTER V. 

MAGNOLIA GROVE. 

Judge Clayton was not mistaken in supposing that hig 
son would contemplate the issue of the case he had de- 
fended with satisfaction. As we have already intimated, 
Clayton was somewhat averse to the practice of the law. 
Regard for the feelings of his father had led him to resolve 
that he would at least give it a fair trial. His own turn of 
mind would have led him to some work of more immediate 
and practical philanthropy. He would much preferred to 
have retired to his own estate, and devoted himself, with 
his sister, to the education of his servants. But he felt that 
he could not, with due regard to his father's feelings, do 
this until he had given professional life a fair trial. 

After the scene of the trial which we have described, he 
returned to his business, and Anne solicited Nina to accom- 
pany her for a few weeks to their plantation at Magnolia 
Grove, whither, as in duty bound, we may follow her. 

Our readers will therefore be pleased to find themselves 
transported to the shady side of a veranda belonging to 
Clayton's establishment at Magnolia Grove. 

The place derived its name from a group of these beauti- 
ful trees, in the centre of which the house was situated. 
It was a long, low cottage, surrounded by deep verandas, 
festooned with an exuberance of those climbing plants 
which are so splendid in the southern latitude. 

The range of apartments which opened on the veranda 
where Anne and Nina were sitting were darkened to ex- 
clude the flies ; but the doors, standing open, gave picture- 



4(» MAGNOLIA GKOVE. 

like gleams of the interior. The white, matted floors, light 
bamboo furniture, couches covered with glazed white linen, 
and the large vases of roses disposed here and there, where 
the light would fall upon them, presented a back-ground of 
inviting coolness. 

It was early in the morning, and the two ladies were en- 
joying the luxury of a tete-a-tete breakfast before the sun 
had yet dried the heavy dews which give such freshness 
to the morning air. A small table which stood between 
them was spread with choice fruits, arranged on dishes in 
green leaves ; a pitcher of iced milk, and a delicate little 
tete-a-tete coffee-service, dispensing the perfume of the most 
fragrant coffee. Nor were they wanting those small, deli- 
cate biscuits, and some of those curious forms of corn-bread, 
of the manufacture of which every southern cook is so justly 
proud. Nor should we omit the central vase of monthly 
roses, of every shade of color, the daily arrangement of 
which was the special delight of Anne's brown little wait- 
ing-maid, Lettice. 

Anne Clayton, in a fresh white morning-wrapper, with 
her pure, healthy complexion, fine teeth, and frank, beam- 
ing smile, looked like a queenly damask rose. A queen she 
really was on her own plantation, reigning by the strongest 
of all powers, that of love. 

The African race have large ideality and veneration ; and 
in no drawing-room could Anne's beauty and grace, her fine 
manners and carriage, secure a more appreciating and un- 
limited admiration and devotion. The negro race, with 
many of the faults of children, unite many of their most 
amiable qualities, in the simplicity and confidingness with 
which they yield themselves up in admiration of a superior 
friend. 

Nina had been there but a day, yet could not fail to read 
in the eyes of all how absolute was the reign which Anne 
held over their affections. 

"How delightful the smell of this magnolia blossom I " 



MAGNOLIA GROVE. 47 

said Nina. "0, I'm glad that you waked me so early, 
Anne! " 

" Yes," said Anne, " in this climate early rising becomes 
a necessary of life to those who mean to have any real, posi- 
tive pleasure in it ; and I 'm one of the sort that must have 
positive pleasures. Merely negative rest, lassitude, and 
dreaming, are not enough for me. I want to feel that I 'm 
alive, and that I accomplish something." 

" Yes, I see," said Nina, " you are not nominally like 
me, but really housekeeper. What wonderful skill you seem 
to have ! Is it possible that you keep nothing locked up 
here?" 

"No," said Anne, "nothing. I am released from the 
power of the keys, thank fortune ! When I first came here, 
everybody told me it was sheer madness to try such a thing. 
But 1 told them that I was determined to do it, and Edward 
upheld me in it ; and you can see how well 1 've suc- 
ceeded." 

" Indeed," said Xina, "you must have magic power, fori 
never saw a household move on so harmoniously. All your 
servants seem to think, and contrive, and take an interest 
in what they are doing. IIow did you begin ? What did 
you do ? " 

" Well," said Anne, " I '11 tell you the history of the 
plantation. In the first place, it belonged to mamma's 
uncle ; and, not to spoil a story for relation's sake, I must 
say he was a dissipated, unprincipled man. He lived a 
perfectly heathen life here, in the most shocking way you 
can imagine ; and so the poor creatures who were under 
him were worse heathen than he. lie lived with a quad- 
roon woman, who was violent tempered, and when angry 
ferociously cruel ; and so the servants were constantly 
passing from the extreme of indulgence to the extreme of 
cruelty. You can scarce have an idea of the state we found 
them in My heart almost failed me ; but Edward said, 
' Don't give it up, Anne ; try the good that is in them ' 
Well, I confess, it seemed very much as it seemed to me 
n. 6 



48 MAGNOLIA GROVE. 

when I was once at a water-cure establishment, — patients 
would be brought in languid, pale, cold, half dead, 
and it appeared as if it would kill them to apply cold 
water ; but, somehow or other, there was a vital power 
in them that reacted under it. Well, just so it was with 
my servants. I called them all together, and I said to 
them, ' Now, people have always said that you are the 
greatest thieves in the world ; that there is no managing 
you except by locking up everything from you. But, I 
think differently. I have an idea that you can be trusted. 
I have been telling people that they don't know how much 
good there is in you ; and now, just to show them what 
you can do, I 'm going to begin and leave the closets and 
doors, and everything, unlocked, and I shall not watch you. 
You can take my things, if you choose ; and if, after a time, 
I find that you can't be trusted, I shall go back to the old 
way.' Well, my dear, I would n't have believed myself 
that the thing would have answered so well. In the first 
place, approbativeness is a stronger principle with the 
African race than almost any other ; they like to be thought 
well of. Immediately there was the greatest spirit in the 
house, for the poor creatures, having suddenly made the dis- 
covery that somebody thought they were to be trusted, 
were very anxious to keep up the reputation. The elder 
ones watched the younger ; and, in fact, my dear, I had 
very little trouble. The children at first troubled me going 
into my store-closet and getting the cake, notwithstanding 
very spirited government on the part of the mammies. So y 
I called my family in session again, and said that their con- 
duct had confirmed my good opinion ; that I always knew 
they could be trusted, and that my friends were astonished 
to hear how well they did : but that I had observed that 
some of the children probably had taken my cake. ' Now, 
you know,' said I, ' that I have no objection to your having 
some. If any of you would enjoy a piece of cake, I shall be 
happy to give it to them, but it is not agreeable to have 
things in my oloset fingered over — I shall therefore set 



MiGNOLIA GEOYE. 49 

a plate of cake out every day, and anybody that wishes to 
take some I hope will take that.' Well, my dear, my plate 
of cake stood there and dried. You won't believe me, but 
in fact it was n't touched." 

" Well," said Nina, " I shouldn't think you could have 
had our Tomtit here ! Why, really, this goes beyond the 
virtue of white children." 

" My dear, it is n't such a luxury to white children to be 
thought well of, and have a character. You must take that 
into account. It was a taste of a new kind of pleasure, 
made attractive by its novelty." 

" Yes," said Nina, " I have something in me which 
makes me feel this would be the right way. I know it 
would be with me. There 's nothing like confidence. If a 
person trusts me, I 'm bound." 

" Yet," said Anne, " I can't get the ladies of my acquaint- 
ance to believe in it. They see how I get along, but they 
insist upon it that it's some secret magic, or art, of mine." 

" Well, it is so," said Nina. " Such things are just 
like the divining-rod ; they won't work in every hand ; it 
takes a real, generous, warm-hearted woman, like you, 
Anne. But, could you carry your system through youi 
plantation, as well as your house ? " 

" The field-hands were more difficult to manage, on some 
accounts," said Anne, "but the same principle prevailed 
with them. Edward tried all he could to awaken self-respect. 
Now, I counselled that we should endeavor to form some 
decent habits before we built the cabins over. I told him 
they could not appreciate cleanliness and order. ' Very 
likely they cannot,' he said, ' but we are not to suppose 
it ; ' and he gave orders immediately for that pretty row of 
cottages you saw down at the quarters. He put up a large 
bathing establishment. Yet he did not enforce at first per- 
sonal cleanliness by strict rules. Those who began to im- 
prove first were encouraged and noticed ; and, as they found 
this a passport to favor, the thing took rapidly. It required 
a great while to teach them how to be consistently orderly 



50 MAGNOLIA GROVE. 

and cleanly even after the first desire had been awakened, 
because it is n't every one tliat likes neatness and order, 
who has the forethought and skill to secure it. But there 
has been a steady progress in these respects. One curious 
peculiarity of Edward's management gives rise to a good 
many droll scenes. He has instituted a sort of jury trial 
among them. There are certain rules for the order and 
well-being of the plantation, which all agree to abide by ; 
and, in all offences, the man is tried by a jury of his peers. 
Mr. Smith, our agent, says that these scenes are sometimes 
very diverting, but on the whole there 's a good deal of 
shrewdness and sense manifested ; but he says that, in gen- 
eral, they incline much more to severity than he would. 
You see the poor creatures have been so barbarized by the 
way they have been treated in past times, that it has made 
them hard and harsh. I assure you, Nina, I never appre- 
ciated the wisdom of God, in the laws which he made for 
the Jews in the wilderness, as I have since I 've tried the 
experiment mj T self of trying to bring a set of slaves out of 
barbarism. Now, this that I 'm telling you is the fairest 
side of the story. I can't begin to tell you the thousand 
difficulties and trials which we have encountered in it. 
Sometimes I 've been almost worn out and discouraged. 
But, then, I think, if there is a missionary work in this 
world, it is this." 

"And what do your neighbors think about it?" said 
Nina. 

" Well," said Anne, " they are all very polite, well-bred 
people, the families with whom we associate ; and such 
people, of course, would never think of interfering, or 
expressing a difference of opinion, in any very open way ; 
but I have the impression that they regard it with suspicion. 
They sometimes let fall words which make me think they 
do. It 's a way of proceeding which very few would adopt, 
because it is not a money-making operation, by any means. 
The plantation barely pays for itself, because Edward makes 
that quite a secondary consideration. The thing which ex> 



MAGNOLIA GEOVE. 51 

cites the most murmuring' is our teaching them to read. I 
teach the children myself two hours every day, because I 
think this would be less likely to be an offence than if I 
should hire a teacher. Mr. Smith teaches any of the grown 
men who are willing to take the trouble to learn. Any man 
who performs a certain amount of labor can secure to him- 
self two or three hours a day to spend as he chooses ; and 
many do choose to learn. Some of the men and the women 
have become quite good readers, and Clayton is constantly 
sending books for them. This, I 'm afraid, gives great 
offence. It is against the law to do it ; but, as unjust laws 
are sometimes lived down, we thought we would test the 
practicability of doing this. There was some complaint 
made of our servants, because they have not the servile, 
subdued air which commonly marks the slave, but look, 
speak, and act, as if they respected themselves. I 'm some- 
times afraid that we shall have trouble ; but, then, 1 hope 
for the best." 

" What does Mr. Clayton expect to be the end of all 
this ? " said Nina. 

" Why," said Anne, " I think Edward has an idea that 
one of these days they may be emancipated on the soil, just 
as the serfs were in England. It looks to me rather hope- 
less, I must say ; but he says the best way is for some one 
to begin and set an example of what ought to be done, and 
he hopes that in time it will be generally followed. It 
would, if all men were like him ] but there lies my doubt. 
The number of those who would pursue such a disinterested 
course is very small. But who comes there ? Upon my 
word, if there is n't my particular admirer, Mr. Bradshaw ! " 

As Anne said this, a very gentlemanly middle-aged man 
came up on horseback, on the carriage-drive which passed 
in front of the veranda. lie bore in his hand a large bunch 
of different-colored roses ; and, alighting, and delivering 
his horse to his servant, came up the steps, and presented it 
to Anne. 

ii. 5* 



52 MAGNOLIA GROVE. 

" There," said he, " are the first fruits of my roses, in 
the garden that I started in Rosedale." 

" Beautiful/' said Anne, taking them. " Allow me to 
present to you Miss Gordon.'' 

" Miss Gordon, your most obedient," said Mr. Bradshaw, 
bowing obsequiously. 

" You are just in season, Mr. Bradshaw," said Anne, " for 
I 'm sure you could n't have had your breakfast before you 
started ; so sit down and help us with ours." 

" Thank you, Miss Anne," said Mr. Bradshaw, " the offer 
is too tempting to be refused." And he soon established 
himself as a third at the little table, and made himself very 
sociable. 

" Well, Miss Anne, how do all your plans proceed — all 
your benevolences and cares ? I hope your angel ministra- 
tions don't exhaust you." 

" Not at all, Mr. Bradshaw ; do I look like it ? " 

"No, indeed! but such energy is perfectly astonishing 
to us all." 

Nina's practised eye observed that Mr. Bradshaw had 
that particular nervous, restless air, which belongs to a man 
who is charged with a particular message, and finds himself 
unexpectedly blockaded by the presence of a third person. 
So, after breakfast, exclaiming that she had left her crochet- 
needle in her apartment, and resisting Anne's offer to send 
a servant for it, by declaring that nobody could find it but 
herself, she left the veranda. Mr. Bradshaw had been an old 
family friend for many years, and stood with Anne almost 
on the easy footing of a relation, which gave him the liberty 
of speaking with freedom. The moment the door of the 
parlor was closed after Nina, he drew a chair near to Anne, 
and sat down, with the unmistakable air of a man who is 
going into a confidential communication. 

" The fact is, my dear Miss Clayton," he said, " I have 
something on my mind that I want to tell you ; and I hope 
you will think my long friendship for the family a sufficient 
warrant for my speaking on matters which really belong 



MAGNOLIA GROVE. 53 

chiefly to yourself. The fact is, my dear Miss Clayton, I 
was at a small dinner-party of gentlemen, the other day, at 
Colonel Grandon's. There was a little select set there, you 
know, — the Howards, and the Elliotts, and the Howlands, 
and so on, — and the conversation happened to turn upon 
your brother. Now, there was the very greatest respect 
for him ; they seemed to have the highest possible regard for 
his motives ; but still they felt that he was going on a very 
dangerous course." 

" Dangerous ? " said Anne, a little startled. 

" Yes, realty dangerous ; and I think so myself, though I, 
perhaps, don't feel as strongly as some do." 

" Really," said Anne, " I 'm quite at a loss ! " 

" My dear Miss Anne, it 's these improvements, you know, 
which you are making. — Don't misapprehend me ! Admira- 
ble, very admirable, in themselves, — done from the most 
charming of motives, Miss Anne, — but dangerous, danger- 
ous ! " 

The solemn, mysterious manner in which these last 
words were pronounced made Anne laugh ; but when she 
saw the expi-ession of real concern on the face of her good 
friend, she checked herself, and said, 

" Pray, explain yourself. I don't understand 3 r ou." 

" Why, Miss Anne, it 's just here. We appreciate your 
humanity, and your self-denial, and your indulgence to your 
servants. Everybody is of opinion that it 's admirable. 
You are really quite a model for us all. But, when it comes 
to teaching them to read and write, Miss Anne," he said, 
lowering his voice, " I think you don't consider what a 
dangerous weapon you are putting into their hands. The 
knowledge will spread on to the other plantations ; bright 
niggers will pick it up ; for the very fellows who are most 
dangerous are the very ones who will be sure to learn." 

" What if they should ? " said Anne. 

" Why, my. dear Miss Anne," said he, lowering his voice, 
" the facilities that it will afford them for combinations, for 
insurrections ! You see, Miss Anne, I read a story once of 



54 MAGNOLIA GROVE. 

a man who made a cork leg with such wonderful accuracy 
that it would walk of itself, and when he got it on he 
couldn't stop its walking — it walked him to death — 
actually did ! Walked him up hill and down dale, till the poor 
man fell down exhausted ; and then it ran off with his body. 
And it 's running with its skeleton to this day, 1 believe." 

And good-natured Mr. Bradshaw conceived such a ridicu- 
lous idea, at this stage of his narrative, that he leaned back 
in his chair and laughed heartily, wiping his perspiring face 
with a cambric pocket-handkerchief. 

" Really, Mr. Bradshaw, it's a very amusing idea, but I 
don't see the analogy," said Anne. 

" Why, don't you see ? You begin teaching niggers, and 
having reading and writing, and all these things, going on, 
and they begin to open their eyes, and look round and 
think ; and they are having opinions of their own, they 
won't take yours ; and the} 7 want to rise directly. And 
if they can't rise, why, they are all discontented ; and 
there 's the what-'sdiis-name to pay with them ! Then come 
conspiracies and insurrections, no matter how well you 
treat them ; and, now, we South Carolinians have had 
experience in this matter. You must excuse us, but it is a 
terrible subject with us. Why, the leaders of that con- 
spiracy, all of them, were fellows who could read and write, 
and who had nothing in the world to wish for, in the way 
of comfort, treated with every considei'ation by their mas- 
ters. It is a most melancholy chapter in human nature. 
It shows that there is no trust to be placed in them. And, 
now, the best way to get along with negroes, in my opinion, 
is to make them happy ; give them plenty to eat and drink 
and wear, and keep them amused and excited, and don't 
work them too hard. I think it 's a great deal better than 
this kind of exciting instruction. Mind," he said, seeing 
that Anne was going to interrupt him, " mind, now, I 'd 
have religious instruction, of course. Now, this system of 
oral instruction, teaching them hymns and passages of 
scripture suited to their peculiar condition, it 's just the 



MAGNOLIA GROVE, 55 

thing 1 ; it is n't so liable to these dangers. I hope you '11 
excuse me, Miss Anne, but the gentlemen really feel very 
serious about these things : they find it 's affecting their 
own negroes. You know, somehow, everything goes round 
from one plantation to another : and one of them said that 
he had a very smart man who is married to one of your 
women, and he actually found him with a spelling-book, 
sitting out under a tree. lie said if the man had had a 
rifle he could n't have been more alarmed ; because the 
man was just one of those sharp, resolute fellows, that, if he 
knew how to read and write, there 's no knowing what he 
w r ould do. Well, now, you see how it is. lie takes the 
spelling-book away, and he tells him he will give him nine- 
and-thirty if he ever finds him with it again. What 's the 
consequence ? Why, the consequence is, the man sulks and 
gets ugly, and he has to sell him. That 's the way it 's 
operating." 

" Well, then," said Anne, looking somewhat puzzled, 
" I will strictly forbid our people to allow spelling-books to 
go out of their hands, or to communicate any of these things 
off of the plantation." 

" 0, I tell you, Miss Anne, you can't do it. You don't 
know the passion in human nature for anything that is for- 
bidden. Now, I believe it 's more that than love of read- 
ing. You can't shut up such an experiment as you are 
making here. It 's just like a fire. It will blaze ; it will catch 
on all the plantations round ; and I assure you it 's matter 
of life and death with us. You smile, Miss Anne, but 
it 's so." 

" Really, my dear Mr. Bradshaw, you could not have 
addressed me on a more unpleasant subject. I am sorry to 
excite the apprehension of our neighbors ; but — " 

" Give me leave to remind you, also, Miss Anne, that 
the teaching of slaves to read and write is an offence to 
which a severe penalty is attached by the laws." 

" I thought," said Anne, " that such barbarous laws were 
a dead letter in a Christian community, and that the best 



56 MAGNOLIA GROVE. 

tribute I could pay to its Christianity was practically to dis- 
regard them." 

" By no means, Miss Anne, by no means ! Why, look at 
us here in South Carolina. The negroes are three to one over 
the whites now. Will it do to give them the further advan- 
tages of education and facilities of communication ? You 
see, at once, it will not. Now, well-bred people, of course, 
are extremely averse to mingling in the affairs of other fam- 
ilies ; and had you merely taught a few favorites, in a pri- 
vate way, as I believe people now and then do, it would n't 
have seemed so bad ; but to have regular provision for 
teaching school, and school-hours, — I think, Miss Anne, 
you '11 find it will result in unpleasant consequences." 

" Yes, I fancy," said Anne, raising herself up, and 
slightly coloring, " that I see myself in the penitentiary for 
the sin and crime of teaching children to read ! I think, 
Mr. Bradshaw, it is time such laws were disregarded. Is 
not that the only way in which many laws are repealed ? 
Society outgrows them, people disregard them, and so they 
fall away, like the calyx from some of my flowers. Come, 
now, Mr. Bradshaw, come with me to my school. I 'm go- 
ing to call it together," said Anne, rising, and beginning to 
go down the veranda steps. " Certainly, my dear friend, 
you ought not to judge without seeing. Wait a moment, 
till I call Miss Gordon." 

And Anne stepped across the shady parlor, and in a few 
moments reappeared with Nina, both arrayed in white cape- 
bonnets. They crossed to the right of the house, to a small 
cluster of neat cottages, each one of which had its little 
vegetable garden, and its plot in front carefully tended with 
flowers. They passed onward into a grove of magnolias 
which skirted the back of the house, till they came to a lit- 
tle building, with the external appearance of a small Gre- 
cian temple, the pillars of which were festooned with jessa- 
mine. 

" Pray, what pretty little place is this ? " said Mr. Brad- 
shaw. 



MAGNOLIA GROVE. 57 

" This is my school-room," said Anne. 

Mr. Bradshaw repressed a whistle of astonishment ; but 
the emotion was plainly legible in his face, and Anne said, 
laughing', 

"A lady's school-room, you know, should be ladjMike. 
Besides, I wish to inspire ideas of taste, refinement, and 
self-respect, in these children. I wish learning- to be asso- 
ciated with the idea of elegance and beauty." 

They ascended the steps, and entered a large room, sur- 
rounded on three sides by black-boards. The floor was 
covered with white matting, and the walls hung with very 
pretty pictures of French lithographs, tastefully colored. 
In some places cards were hung up, bearing quotations of 
scripture. There were rows of neat desks, before each of 
which there was a little chair. 

Anne stepped to the door and rang a bell, and in about 
ten minutes the patter of innumerable little feet was heard 
ascending the steps, and presently they came streaming in — 
all ages, from four or five to fifteen, and from the ebony 
complexion of the negro, with its closely-curling wool, to 
the rich brown cheek of the quadroon, with melancholy lus- 
trous eyes, and waving hair. All were dressed alike, in a 
neat uniform of some kind of blue stuff, with white capes 
and aprons. 

They filed in to the tune of one of those marked rhythmical 
melodies which characterize the negro music, and, moving 
in exact time to the singing, assumed their seats, which 
were arranged with regard to their age and size. As soon 
as they were seated, Anne, after a moment's pause, clapped 
her hands, and the whole school commenced a morning 
hymn, in four parts, which was sung so beautifully that 
Mr. Bradshaw, quite overpowered, stood with tears in his 
eyes. Anne nodded at Nina, and cast on him a satisfied 
glance. 

After that, there was a rapid review of the classes. 
There was reading, spelling, writing on the black-board, 
and the smaller ones were formed in groups in two adjoin.' 



58 MAGNOLIA GROVE. 

ing apartments, under the care of some of the older girls, 
Anne walked about superintending the whole ; and Nina, 
who saw the scene for the first time, could not repress her 
exclamation of delight. The scholars were evidently ani- 
mated by the presence of company, and anxious to do credit 
to the school and teacher, and the two hours passed rapidly 
away. Anne exhibited to Mr. Bradshaw specimens of the 
proficiency of her scholars in hand-writing, and the drawing 
of maps, and even the copying of small lithograph cards, 
which contained a series of simple drawing-patterns. Mr. 
Bradshaw seemed filled with astonishment. 

" 'Pon my word," said he, "these are surprising! Miss 
Anne, you are a veritable magician — a worker of miracles ! 
You must have found Aaron's rod, again ! My dear madam, 
you run the risk of being burned for a witch ! " 

" Very few, Mr. Bradshaw, know how much of beauty lies 
sealed up in this neglected race," said Anne, with enthu- 
siasm. 

As they were walking back to the house, Mr. Bradshaw 
fell a little behind, and his face wore a thoughtful and almost 
sad expression. 

" Well," said Anne, looking round, "a penny for your 
thoughts ! " 

" 0, I see, Miss Anne, you are for pursuing your advan- 
tage. I see triumph in your eyes. But yet," he added, 
" after all this display, the capability of your children makes 
me feel sad. To what end is it? What pu. pose will it 
serve, except to unfit them for their inevitable condition — 
to make them discontented and unhappy ? " 

" Well," replied Anne, " there ought to be no inevitable 
condition that makes it necessary to dwarf a human mind. 
Any condition which makes a full development of the powers 
that God has given us a misfortune, cannot, certainly, be a 
healthy one — cannot be right. If a mind will grow and 
rise, make way and let it. Make room for it, and cut down 
everything that stands in the way ! " 

" That 's terribly levelling doctrine, Miss Anne." 



MAGNOLIA GROVE. 59 

" Let it level, then ! " said Anne. " I don't care ! I come 
from the old Virginia cavalier blood, and am not afraid of 
anything-." 

"But, Miss Anne, how do you account for it that the 
best-educated and best-treated slaves — in fact, as } r ou say, 
the most perfectly-developed human beings — were those 
who got up the insurrection in Charleston ? " 

" How do you account for it," said Anne, " that the best- 
developed and finest specimens of men have been those 
that have got up insurrections in Italy, Austria, and Hun- 
gary ? " 

" Well, you admit, then," said Mr. Bradshaw, " that if you 
say A in this matter, you We got to say B." 

"Certainly," said Anne, "and when the time comes to 
say B, I 'm ready to say it. I admit, Mr. Bradshaw, it 's a 
very dangerous thing to get up steam, if you don't intend 
to let the boat go. But when the steam is high enough, let 
her go, say I." 

" Yes, but, Miss Anne, other people don't want to say 
so. The fact is, we are not all of us ready to let the boat 
go. It 's got all our property in it — all we have to live on. 
If you are willing yourself, so far as your people are con- 
cerned, they '11 inevitably want liberty, and you say you '11 
be ready to give it to them ; but your fires will raise a 
steam on our plantations, and we must shut down these 
escape-valves. Don't you see? Now, for my part, I 've been 
perfectly charmed with this school of yours ; but, after all, 
I can't help inquiring whereto it will grow." 

" Well, Mr. Bradshaw," said Anne, " I 'm obliged to you 
for the frankness of this conversation. It 's very friendly 
and sincere. I think, however, I shall continue to compli- 
ment the good sense and gallantry of this state, by ignoring 
its unworthy and unchristian laws. I will endeavor, never- 
theless, to be more careful and guarded as to the manner of 
what I do ; but, if I should be put into the penitentiary, 
Mr. Bradshaw, I hope you '11 call on me." 
n. 6 



60 MAGNOLIA GEOVE. 

" Miss Anne, I beg ten thousand pardons for that unfor- 
tunate allusion." 

"I think," said Anne, "I shall impose it as a penance 
upon you to stay and spend the day with us, and then 1 '11 
show you my rose-garden. I have great counsel to hold 
with you on the training of a certain pillar-rose. You see, 
rny design is to get you involved in my treason. You 've 
already come into complicity with it, by visiting my school." 

" Thank you, Miss Anne, I should be only too much 
honored to be your abettor in any treason you might med- 
itate. But, really, I 'm a most unlucky dog 1 Think of my 
having four bachelor friends engaged to dine with me, and 
so being obliged to decline your tempting offer ! In fact, I 
must take horse before the sun gets any hotter." 

" There he goes, for a good-hearted creature as he is ! " 
said Anne. 

"Do you know," said Nina, laughing, "that I thought 
that he was some poor, desperate mortal, who was on the 
verge of a proposal, this morning, and I ran away like a 
good girl, to give him a fair field ? " 

"Child," said Anne, "you are altogether too late in the 
day. Mr. Bradshaw and I walked that little figure some time 
ago, and now he is one of the most convenient and agreea- 
ble of friends." 

" Anne, why in the world don't you get in love with 
somebody ? " said Nina. 

" My dear, I think there was something or other left out 
when I was made up," said Anne, laughing, "but I never 
had much of a fancy for the lords of creation. They do 
tolerably well till the}' come to be lovers ; but then they are 
perfect^ unbearable. Lions in love, my dear, don't appear 
to advantage, you know. I can't marry papa or Edward, 
and they have spoiled me for everybody else. Besides, I'm 
happy, and what do I want of any of them ? Can't there 
be now and then a woman sufficient to herself? But, Nina, 
dear, I 'm sorry that our affairs here are giving offence and 
making uneasiness." 



MAGNOLIA GROVE. 61 

"For my part," said Nina, "I should go right on. I 
have noticed that people try all they can to stop a person 
who is taking an unusual course ; and when they are per- 
fectly certain that they can't stop them, then they turn 
round and fall in with them ; and I think that will be th^ 
case with you." 

" They certainly will have an opportunity of trying/'' 
said Anne. " But there is Dulcimer coming up the avenue 
with the letter-bag. Now, child, I don't believe you appre- 
ciate half my excellence, when you consider that I used to 
have all these letters that fall to you every mail." 

At this moment Dulcimer rode up to the veranda step ', 
and deposited the letter-bag in Anne's hands. 

" What an odd name you have given him ! " said Nin'., 
" and what a comical-looking fellow he is ! He has a so t 
of waggish air that reminds me of a crow." 

"0, Dulcimer don't belong to our regime," said Ann 1 . 
"He was the prime minister and favorite under the former 
reign, — a sort of licensed court jester, — and to this day 
he hardly knows how to do anything but sing and dance ; and 
so brother, who is for allowing the largest liberty to every- 
body, imposes on him only such general and light tasks as 
suit his roving nature. But there ! " she said, throwing a 
letter on Nina's lap, and at the same time breaking the seal 
of one directed to herself. " Ah, I thought so 1 You see, 
puss, Edward has some law business that takes him to this 
part of the state forthwith. Was ever such convenient law 
business ? We may look for him to-night. Now there will 
be rejoicings! How now, Dulcimer ? 1 thought you had 
gone," she said, looking up, and observing that personage 
still lingering in the shade of a tulip-tree near the veranda. 

" Please, Miss Anne, is Master Clayton coming home to- 
night ? " 

" Yes, Dulcimer ; so now go and spread the news ; for 
that 's what you want, I know." 

And Dulcimer, needing no second suggestion, was out of 
sight in the shrubbery in a few moments. 



62 MAGNOLIA GROVE. 

" Now, I'll wager," said Anno, "that creature will get 
up something or other extraordinary for this evening." 

" Such as what ? " said Nina. 

" Well, he is something of a troubadour, and I should n't 
wonder if he should be cudgelling his brain at this moment 
for a song. We shall have some kind of operatic perform- 
ance, you may be sure." 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE TEOUBADOUR. 

About five o'clock in the evening, Nina and Anne amused 
themselves with setting- a fancy tea-table on the veranda. 
Nina had gathered a quantity of the leaves of the live oak, 
which she possessed a particular faculty of plaiting in long, 
flat wreaths, and with these she garlanded the social round 
table, after it had been draped in its snowy damask, while 
Anne was busy arranging fruit in dishes with vine-leaves. 

" Lettice will be in despair, to-night," said Anne, look- 
ing up, and smiling at a neatly-dressed brown mulatto girl, 
who stood looking on with large, lustrous eyes ; " her occu- 
pation \s gone ! " 

" 0, Lettice must allow me to show my accomplish- 
ments," said Nina. "There are some household arts that 
I have quite a talent for. If I had lived in what-'s-its-name, 
there, that they used to tell about in old times — Arcadia — 
I should have made a good housekeeper ; for nothing suits 
me better than making wreaths, and arranging bouquets. 
My nature is dressy. I want to dress everything. I want 
to dress tables, and dress vases, and adorn dishes, and dress 
handsome women, Anne ! So look out for yourself, for 
when I have done crowning the table, I shall crown you ! " 

As Nina talked, she was flitting hither and thither, taking 
up and laying down flowers and leaves, shaking out long 
sprays, and fluttering from place to place, like a bird. 

"It's a pity," said Anne, "that life can't be all Ar- 
cadia ! " 

" 0, yes ! " said Nina. " When I was a child, I remem- 
n. 6* 



64 THE TROUBADOUE. 

ber there was an old torn translation of a book called Ges- 
ner's Idyls, that used to lie about the house ; and I used to 
read in it most charming little stories about handsome shep- 
herds, dressed in white, playing on silver and ivory flutes ; 
and shepherdesses, with azure mantles and floating hair; 
and people living on such delightful things as cool curds and 
milk, and grapes, and strawberries, and peaches ; and there 
was no labor, and no trouble, and no dirt, and no care. 
Everybody lived like the flowers and the birds, — growing, 
and singing, and being beautiful. Ah, dear, I have never 
got over wanting it since ! Why could n't it be so ? " 

" It 's a thousand pities ! " said Anne. " But what con- 
stant fight we have to maintain for order and beauty ! " 

"Yes," said Nina; "and, what seems worse, beauty it- 
self becomes dirt in a day. Now, these roses that we are 
arranging, to-morrow or next day we shall call them litter, 
and wish somebody would sweep them out of the way. 
But I never want to be the one to do that. I want some 
one to carry away the withered flowers, and wash the soiled 
vases ; but I want to be the one to cut the fresh roses every 
day. If I were in an association, I should take that for my 
part. 1 'd arrange all their flowers through the establish- 
mer , but I should stipulate expressly that I should do no 
clearing up." 

" Well," said Anne, " it 's really a mystery to me what a 
constant downward tendency there is to everything — how 
everything is gravitating back, as you may say, into dis- 
order. Now, I think a cleanly, sweet, tasteful house — and, 
above all, table — are among the highest works of art. And 
yet, how everything attacks you when you set out to attain 
it — flies, cockroaches, ants, mosquitos ! And, then, it seems 
to be the fate of all human beings, that they are constantly 
wearing. out and disarranging and destroying all that is 
about them." 

"Yes," said Nina, "I couldn't help thinking of that 
when we were at the camp-meeting. The first day, I was 
perfectly charmed. Everything was so fresh, so cool, so 



THE TROUBADOUR. 65 

dewy and sweet ; but, by the end of the second day, they 
had thrown egg-shells, and pea-pods, and melon-rinds, and 
all sorts of abominations, around among the tents, and it 
was really shocking to contemplate." 

"How disgusting! " said Anne. 

" Now, I 'm one of that sort,'' said Nina, " that love order 
dearly, but don't want the trouble of it myself. My prime 
minister, Aunt Katy, thanks to mamma, is an excellent hand 
to keep it, and I encourage her in it with all my heart ; so 
that any part of the house where / don't go much is in 
beautiful order. But, bless me, I should have to be made 
over again before I could do like Aunt Nesbit ! Did you 
ever see her take a pair of gloves or a collar out of a drawer ? 
She gets up, and walks so moderately across the room, takes 
the key from under the napkin on the right-hand side of the 
bureau, and unlocks the drawer, as gravely as though she 
was going to offer a sacrifice. Then, if her gloves are the 
back side, underneath something else, she takes out one 
thing after another, so moderately; and then, when the 
gloves or collar are found, lays everything back exactly 
where it was before, locks the drawer, and puts the key 
back under the towel. And all this she 'd do if anybody 
was dying, and she had to go for the doctor ! The conse- 
quence is, that her room, her drawers, and everything, are 
a standing sermon to me. But I think I 've got to be a 
much calmer person than I am, before this will come to 
pass in my case. I 'm always in such a breeze and flutter ! 
I fly to my drawer, and scatter things into little whirlwinds ; 
ribbons, scarf, flowers — everything flies out in a perfect 
rainbow. It seems as if I should die if I did n't get the 
thing I wanted that minute : and, after two or three such 
attacks on a drawer, then comes repentance,- and a long 
time of rolling up and arranging, and talking to little 
naughty Nina, who always promises herself to keep better 
order in future. But, my dear, she does n't do it, I 'm sorry 
to say, as yet, though perhaps there are hopes of her in 
future. Tell me, Anne, — you are not stiff and 'poky,' and 



66 THE TEOUBADOUR. 

yet you seem to be endowed with the gift of order. IIow 
did it come about ? " 

" It was not natural to me, I assure you," said Anne. 
" It was a second nature, drilled into me by mamma." 

"Mamma! ah, indeed!" said Nina, giving a sigh. 
" Then you are very happy ! Bat, come, now, Lettice, 1 7 ve 
done with all these ; take them away. My tea-table has 
risen out of them like the world out of chaos," she said, as 
she swept together a heap of rejected vines, leaves, and 
flowers. " Ah ! I always have a repenting turn, when I 've 
done arranging vases, to think I Ve picked so many more 
than were necessary ! The poor flowers droop their leaves, 
and look at me reproachfully, as if they said, ' You did n't 
want us — why could n't you have left us alone ? ' " 

" 0," said Anne, "Lettice will relieve you of that. She 
has great talents in the floral line, and out of these she will 
arrange quantities of bouquets," she said, as Lettice, blush- 
ing perceptibly through her brown skin, stooped and swept 
up the rejected flowers into her apron. 

" What have we here ? " said Anne, as Dulcimer, attired 
with most unusual care, came bowing up the steps, present- 
ing a note on a waiter. " Dear me, how stylish ! gilt-edged 
paper, smelling of myrrh and ambergris ! " she continued, 
as she broke the seal. " What 's this ? 

" ' The Magnolia Grove troubadours request the presence 
of Mr. and Miss Clayton and Miss Gordon at an operatic 
performance, which will be given this evening, at eight 
o'clock, in the grove.' 

"Very well done! I fancy some of my scholars have 
been busy with the writing. Dulcimer, we shall be happy 
to come." 

" Where upon earth did he pick up those phrases ? " said 
Nina, when he had departed. 

"0," said Anne, " I told you that he was prime favorite 
of the former proprietor, who used to take him with him 



THE TROUBADOUR. 67 

wherever he travelled, as people sometimes will a pet mon- 
key ; and, I dare say, he has lounged round the lobbies 
of many an opera-house. I told you that he was going to 
get up something." 

" What a delightful creature he must be ! " said Nina. 

"Perhaps so, to you," said Anne ; "but he is a trouble- 
some person to manage. He is as wholly destitute of any 
moral organs as a jackdaw. One sometimes questions 
whether these creatures have any more than a reflected 
mimicry of a human soul — such as the German stories im- 
agine in Cobolds and water spirits. All I can see in Dulci- 
mer is a kind of fun-loving animal. He don't seem to have 
any moral nature." 

"Perhaps," said Nina, "his moral nature is something 
like the cypress-vine seeds which I planted three months 
ago, and which have just come up." 

" Well, I believe Edward expects to see it along, one of 
these days," said Anne. " His faith in human nature is 
unbounded. I think it one of his foibles, for my part ; 
but yet I try to have hopes of Dulcimer, that some day 01 
other he will have some glimmering perceptions of the dif- 
ference between a lie and the truth, and between his own 
things and other people's. At present, he is the most law- 
less marauder on the place. He has been so used to having 
his wit to cover a multitude of sins, that it 's difficult for a 
scolding to make any impression on him. But, hark ! is n't 
that a horse ? Somebody is coming up the avenue." 

Both listened. 

" There are two," said Nina. 

Just at this instant Clayton emerged to view, accompa- 
nied by another rider, who, on nearer view, turned out to be 
Frank Russel. At the same instant, the sound of violins 
and banjos was heard, and, to Anne's surprise, a gayly- 
dressed procession of servants and children began to file 
out from the grove, headed by Dulcimer and several of his 
associates, playing and singing. 



68 THE TROUBADOUR. 

" There," said Anne, " did n't I tell you so ? There 's the 
beginning- of, Dulcimer's operations." 

The air was one of those inexpressibly odd ones whose 
sharp, metallic accuracy of rhythm seems to mark the de- 
light which the negro race feel in that particular element of 
music. The words, as usual, amounted to very little. Nina 
and Anne could hear, 

" 0, I see de mas'r a couiin' up do track, 
His horse's heels do clatter, with a clack, clack, clack ! " 

The idea conveyed in these lines being still further carried 
out by the regular clapping of hands at every accented 
note, while every voice joined in the chorus : 

" Sing, boys, sing ; de mas'r is come ! 
Give three cheers for de good man at home ! 

Ho ! he ! ho ! Hurra ! hurra ! " 

Clayton acknowledged the compliment, as he came up, by 
bowing from his horse ; and the procession arranged itself 
in a kind of lane, through which he and his companion rode 
up to the veranda. 

" 'Pon my word," said Frank Russel, " I was n't prepared 
for such a demonstration. Quite a presidential reception ! " 

When Clayton came to the steps and dismounted, a dozen 
sprang eagerly forward to take his horse, and in the crowd- 
ing round for a word of recognition the order of the pro- 
cession was entirely broken. After many kind words, and 
inquiries in every direction for a few moments, the people 
quietly retired, leaving their master to his own enjoyments. 

" You really have made quite a triumphal entry," said 
Nina. 

" Dulcimer always exhausts himself on all such occa- 
sions," said Anne, " so that he is n't capable of any further 
virtue for two or three weeks." 

" Well, take him while he is in flower, then! " said Rus- 
sel. "But how perfectly cool and inviting you look I 



THE TROUBADOUR. 69 

Really, quite idyllic ! We must certainly have got into a 
fairy queen's castle ! " 

" But you must show us somewhere to shake the dust off 
of our feet," said Clayton. 

" Yes," said Anne, " there 's Aunt Praw waiting- to show 
you your room. Go and make yourselves as fascinating as 
you can." 

In a little while the gentlemen returned, in fresh white 
linen suits, and the business of the tea-table proceeded with 
alacrity. 

" Well, now," said Anne, after tea, looking at her watch, 
" I must inform the company that we are all engaged to the 
opera this evening." 

" Yes," said Nina, " the Magnolia Grove Opera House is 
to be opened, and the Magnolia Troubadour Troupe to ap- 
pear for the first time." 

At this moment they were surprised by the appearance, 
below the veranda, of Dulcimer, with three of his colored 
associates, all wearing white ribbons in their button-holes, 
and carrying white wands tied with satin ribbon, and 
gravely arranging themselves two aud two on each side of 
the steps. 

" Why, Dulcimer, what 's this ? " said Clayton. 

Dulcimer bowed with the gravity of a raven, and an- 
nounced that the committee had come to wait on the gen- 
tlemen and ladies to their seats. 

" 0," said Anne, "we were not prepared for our part of 
the play ! " 

" What a pity I did n't bring my opera-hat ! " said Nina. 
"Never mind," she said, snatching a spray of multiflora 
rose, "this will do." And she gave it one twist round her 
head, and her toilet was complete. 

" 'Pon my word, that 's soon done ! " said Frank Russel, 
as he watched the coronet of half-opened buds and ruses. 

"Yes," said Nina. "Sit down, Anne ; I forgot your 
crown. There, wait a moment ; let me turn this leaf a lit- 



70 THE TBOUBADOUR. 

tie, and weave these buds in here — so. Now you are a 
Baltimore belle, to be sure ! Now for the procession." 

The opera-house for the evening, was an open space in 
the grove behind the house. Lamps had been hung up 
in the trees, twinkling on the glossy foliage. A sort of 
booth or arbor was' built of flowers and leaves at one end, 
to which the party were marshalled in great state. Be- 
tween two magnolia-trees a white curtain was hung up ; 
and the moment the family party made their appearance, a 
chorus of voices from behind the scenes began an animated 
song of welcome. 

As soon as the party was seated, the curtain rose, and 
the chorus, consisting of about thirty of the best singers, 
males and females, came forward, dressed in their best 
holiday costume, singing, and keeping step as they sung, 
and bearing in their hands bouquets, which, as they marched 
round the circle, they threw at the feet of the company. A 
wreath of orange-blossoms was significantly directed at 
Nina, and fell right into her lap. 

" These people seem to have had their eyes open. Com- 
ing events cast their shadows before ! " said Russel. 

After walking around, the chorus seated themselves at the 
side of the area, and the space behind was filled up with a 
dense sea of heads — all the servants and plantation hands. 

" I declare," said Russel, looking round on the crowd of 
dark faces, " this sable crowd is turning a silver lining with a 
witness ! How neat and pretty that row of children look ! " 
And, as they spoke, a procession of the children of Anne's 
school came filing round in the same manner that the other 
had done, singing their school-songs, and casting flowers 
before the company. After this, they seated themselves on 
low seats in front of all the others. 

Dulcimer and four of his companions now came into the 
centre. 

" There," said Anne, " Dulcimer is going to be the centre 
piece. He is the troubadour." 

Dulcimer, in fact, commenced a kind of recitative, to the 



THE TROUBADOUR. 71 

tune "Mas'r's in the cold, cold ground." After singing 
a few lines, the quartet took up the chorus, and their voices 
were really magnificent. 

"Why," said Nina, "it seems to me they are beginning 
in a very doleful way." 

" 0," said Anne, "wait a minute. This is the old nias'r, 
I fancy. We shall soon hear the tune changed." 

And accordingly, Dulcimer, striking into a new tune, be- 
gan to rehearse the coming in of a new master. 

" There," said Anne, "now for a catalogue of Edward's 
virtues ! They must be all got in, rhyme or no rhyme." 

Dulcimer kept on rehearsing. Every four lines, the 
quartet struck in with the chorus, which was then repeated 
by the whole company, clapping their hands and stamping 
their feet to the time, with great vivacity. 

" Now, Anne, is coming your turn," said Nina, as Dulci- 
mer launched out, in most high-flown strains, on the beauty 
of Miss Anne. 

"Yes," said Clayton, "the catalogue of your virtues 
will be somewhat extensive." 

" I shall escape, at any rate," said Nina. 

"Don't you be too sure," said Anne. "Dulcimer has 
had his eye on you ever since you 've been here." 

And true enough, after the next stanza, Dulcimer assumed 
a peculiarly meaning expression. 

"There," said Anne, "do see the wretch flirting him- 
self out like a saucy crow ! It ; s coming ! Now look out, 
Nina!" 

With a waggish expression from the corner of his down- 
cast eyes, he sung, 

" 0, mas'r is often absent — do you know where he goes? 
He goes to North Carolina, for de North Carolina rose." 

" There you are ! " said Frank Russel. " Do you see the 
grin going round ? What a lot of ivory ! They are com- 
ing in this chorus, strong ! " 
ii. 1 



72 THE TROUBADOUR. 

And the whole assembly, with great animation, poured 
out on the chorus : 

" 0, de North Carolina rose ! 
0, de North Carolina rose ! 
We wish good luck to mas'r, 
With de North Carolina rose ! " 

This chorus was repeated with enthusiasm, clapping of 
hands, and laughing. 

"I think the North Carolina rose ought to rise ! " said 
Eussel. 

" 0, hush ! " said Anne ; " Dulcimer has n't done yet." 

Assuming an attitude, Dulcimer turned and sang to one 
of his associates in the quartet, 

" 0, I see two stars a rising, 
Up in de shady skies ! " 

To which the other responded, with animation : 

" No, boy, you are mistaken ; 
'T is de light of her fair eyes ! " 

"That 'a thorough, at any rate ! " said Eussel. 
While Dulcimer went on : 

" 0, I see two roses blowing, 
Togeder on one bed ! 

And the other responded : 

" No, boy, you are mistaken ; 
Dem are her cheeks so red ! " 

"And they are getting redder!" said Anne, tapping 
Nina with her fan. " Dulcimer is evidently laying out his 
strength upon you, Nina ! " 

Dulcimer went on singing : 

" 0, I see a grape-vine running, 
With its curly rings, up dere ' " 



THE TROUBADOUR. 73 

And the response, 

" No, boy, you are mistaken ; 
'T is her rings of curly hair ! " 

And the qtiartet here struck up : 

" 0, she walks on do veranda, 

And she laughs out of de door, 
And she dances like de sunshine 

Across de parlor floor. 
Her little feet, dey patter, 

Like de rain upon de flowers ; 
And her laugh is like sweet waters, 

Through all de summer hours ! " 

"Dulcimer has had help from some of the muses along 
there ! " said Clayton, looking at Anne. 
" Hush ! " said Anne ; " hear the chorus." 

" 0, de North Carolina rose ! 
0, de North Carolina rose ! 
0, plant by our veranda 
De North Carolina rose ! " 

This chorus was repeated with three times three, and the 
whole assembly broke into a general laugh, when the per- 
formers bowed and retired, and the white sheet, which was 
fastened by a pulley to the limb of a tree, was let down 
again. 

"Come, now, Anne, confess that wasn't all Dulcimer's 
work ! " said Clayton. 

" Well, to tell the truth," said Anne, " 'twas got up be- 
tween him and Lettice, who has a natural turn for versify- 
ing, quite extraordinary. If I chose to encourage and push 
her on, she might turn out a second Phillis Wheatly." 

Dulcimer and his coadjutors now came round, bearing 
trays with lemonade, cake, sliced pine-apples, and some 
other fruits. 

" Well, on my word," said Russel, " this is quite prettily 
got up ! " 

" 0, I think," said Clayton, " the African race evidently 



74 THE TEOUBADOUE. 

are made to excel in that department which lies between 
the sensuous and the intellectual — what we call the eljgant 
arts. These require rich and abundant animal nature, such 
as they possess ; and, if ever they become highly civilized, 
they will excel in music, dancing - , and elocution." 

" I have often noticed/ 7 said Anne, " in my scholars, 
how readily they seize upon anything which pertains to the 
department of music and language. The negroes are some- 
times laughed at for mispronouncing words, which they 
will do in a very droll manner ; but it 's only because they 
are so taken with the sounds of words that they will try to 
pronounce beyond the sphere of their understanding, like 
bright children." 

" Some of these voices here are perfectly splendid," said 
Eussel. 

"Yes," said Anne, "we have one or two girls on the 
place who have that rich contralto voice which, I think, is 
oftener to be found among them than among whites." 

" The Ethiopian race is a slow-growing plant, like the 
aloe," said Clayton; "but I hope, some of these days, 
they '11 come into flower ; and I think, if they ever do, the 
blossoming will be gorgeous." 

" That will do for a poet's expectation," said Russel. 

The performance now gave place to a regular dancing- 
party, which went on with great animation, yet decorum. 

" Religious people," said Clayton, " who have instructed 
the negroes, I think have wasted a great deal of their 
energy in persuading them to give up dancing and singing 
songs. I try to regulate the propensity. There is no use 
in trying to make the negroes into Anglo-Saxons, any more 
than making a grape-vine into a pear-tree. I train the 
grape-vine." 

"Behold," said Russel, "the successful champion of 
negro rights ! " 

" Not so very successful," said Clayton. " I suppose 
you 've heard my case has been appealed ; so that my victory 
isn't so certain, after all." 



THE TROUBADOUE. 75 

" 0," said Nina, " yes, it must be ! I 'm sure no person 
of common sense would decide any other way ; and your 
own father is one of the judges, too." 

" That will only make him the more careful not to be in- 
fluenced in my favor," said Clayton. 

The dancing now broke up, and the servants dispersed 
in an orderly manner, and the company returned to the 
veranda, which lay pleasantly checkered with the light of 
the moon falling through trailing vines. The air was full 
of those occasional pulsations of fragrance which rise in the 
evening from flowers. 

" 0, how delightful," said Nina, "this fragrance of the 
honeysuckles ! I have a perfect passion for perfumes ! 
They seem to me like spirits in the air." 

" Yes," said Clayton, " Lord Bacon says, ' that the 
breath of flowers comes and goes in the air, like the war- 
bling of music.' " 

"Did Lord Bacon say that ? " said Nina, in a tone of 
surprise. 

" Yes ; why not ? " said Clayton. 

" 0, I thought he was one of those musty old philoso- 
phers, who never thought of anything pretty! " 

" Well," said Clayton, " then to-morrow let me read you 
his essay on gardens, and you '11 find musty old philoso- 
phers often do think of pretty things." 

" It was Lord Bacon," said Anne, " who always wanted 
musicians playing in the next room while he was com- 
posing." 

" He did ? " said Nina. " Why, how delightful of him ! 
I think I should like to hear some of his essays." 

" There are some minds," said Clayton, " large enough 
to take in everything. Such men can talk as prettily of a 
ring on a lady's finger, as they can wisely on the courses 
of the planets. Nothing escapes them." 

" That 's the kind of man you ought to have for a lover, 
Anne," said Nina, laughing ; " you have weight enough 
to risk it. I 'm such a little whisk of thistle-down that it 
n. T* 



76 THE TROUBADOUR. 

would annihilate me. Such a ponderous weight of wisdom 
attached to me would drag me under water, and drown 
me. I should let go my line, I think, if I felt such a fish 
bite." 

" You are tolerably safe in our times," said Clayton. 
" Nature only sends such men once in a century or two. 
They are the road-makers for the rest of the world. They 
are quarry-masters, that quarry out marble enough for a 
generation to work up." 

" Well," said Nina, " I shouldn't want to be a quarry- 
master's wife. I should be afraid that some of his blocks 
would fall on me." 

" Why, wouldn't you like it, if he were wholly your 
slave ? " said Frank Kussel. " It would be like having the 
genius of the lamp at your feet." 

" Ah," said Nina, " if I could keep him my slave ; but 
I'm afraid he 'd outwit me at last. Such a man would soon 
put me up on a shelf for a book read through. I 've seen 
some great men, — I mean great for our times, — • and they 
did n't seem to care half as much for their wives as they did 
for a newspaper." 

"0," said Anne, "that's past praying for, with any 
husband. The newspaper is the standing rival of the 
American lady. It must be a warm lover that can be 
attracted from that, even before he is secure of his prize." 

"You are severe, Miss Anne," said Russel. 

" She only speaks the truth. You men are a bad set," 
said Nina. "You are a kind of necessary evil, half civil- 
ized at best. But if ever I set up an establishment, I shall 
insist upon taking precedence of the newspaper." 



CHAPTER VII. 

tiff's garden. 

Would the limits of our story admit of it, we should 
gladly linger many days in the shady precincts of Magnolia 
Grove, where Clayton and Nina remained some days 
longer, and where the hours flew by on flowery feet ; but 
the inevitable time and tide, which wait for no man, wait 
not for the narrator. We must therefore say, in brief, that 
when the visit was concluded, Clayton accompanied Nina 
once more to Canema, and returned to the circle of his own 
duties. 

Nina returned to her own estate, with views somewhat 
chastened and modified by her acquaintance with Anne. As 
Clayton supposed, the influence of a real noble purpose in life 
had proved of more weight than exhortations, and she began 
to feel within herself positive aspirations for some more 
noble and worthy life than she had heretofore led. That 
great, absorbing feeling which determines the whole destiny 
of woman's existence, is in its own nature an elevating and 
purifying one. It is such even when placed on an unworthy 
object, and much more so when the object is a worthy one. 
Since the first of their friendship, Clayton had never offi- 
ciously sought to interfere with the growth and develop- 
ment of Nina's moral nature. He had sufficient sagacity 
to perceive that, unconsciously to herself, a deeper power 
of feeling, and a wider range of thought, was opening with- 
in her ; and he left the development of it to the same quiet 
forces which swell the rosebud and guide the climbing 
path of the vine. Simply and absolutely he lived his own 



78 tiff's garden. 

life before her, and let hers alone ; and the power of his life 
therefore became absolute. . 

A few mornings after her return, she thought that she would 
go out and inquire after the welfare of our old friend Tiff. 
It was a hazy, warm, bright summer morning, and all things 
lay in that dreamy stillness, that trance of voluptuous rest, 
which precedes the approach of the fiercer heats of the day. 
Since her absence there had been evident improvement in 
Tiff's affairs. The baby, a hearty, handsome little fellow, 
by dint of good nursing, pork-sucking, and lying out doors 
in the tending of breezes and zephyrs, had grown to be a" 
creeping creature, and folloAved Tiff around, in his garden 
ministrations, with unintelligible chatterings of delight. 

At the moment when Nina rode up, Tiff was busy with 
his morning work in the garden. 

His appearance, it is to be confessed, was somewhat 
peculiar. He usually wore, in compliment to his nursing 
duties, an apron in front ; but, as his various avocations 
pressed hard upon his time, and as his own personal outfit 
was ever the last to be attended to, Tiff's nether garments 
had shown traces of that frailty which is incident to all 
human things. 

" Bress me," he said to himself, that morning, as he with 
difficulty engineered his way into them, " holes here, and 
holes dar ! Don't want but two holes in my breeches, and 
I ; s got two dozen ! Got my foot through de wrong place ! 
Por old Tiff! Laws a massy ! wish I could get hold of some 
of dem dar clothes dey were telling 'bout at de camp-meet- 
ing, dey wore forty years in de wilderness ! 'Mazing handy 
dem ar times was ! Well, any how, I ; 11 tie an apron behind, 
and anoder in front. Bress de Lord, I 's got aprons, any 
how ! I must make up a par of breeches, some of dese 
yer days, when de baby's teeth is all through, and Teddy's 
clothes don't want no mending, and de washing is done, 
and dese yer weeds stops a growing in de garden. Bress 
if I know what de Lord want of so many weeds. 'Pears 
like dey comes just to plague us ; but, den, we does n't 



tiff's gaFvDex. 79 

know. May be dere's some good in 'em, We does n't 
know but a leetle, no way." 

Tiff was sitting on the ground weeding one of his garden- 
beds, when he was surprised by the apparition of Nina on 
horseback coming up to the gate. Here was a dilemma, to 
be sure ! No cavalier had a more absolute conception of 
the nature of politeness, and the claims of beauty, rank, 
and fashion, than Tiff. Then, to be caught sitting on the 
ground, with a blue apron on in front, and a red one on 
behind, was an appalling dilemma ! However, as our read- 
ers may have discovered, Tiff had that essential requisite of 
good breeding, the moral courage to face an exigency; and, 
wisely considering that a want of cordiality is a gTeater 
deficiency than the want of costume, he rose up, without 
delay, and hastened to the gate to acknowledge the honor. 

" Lord bress yer sweet face, Miss Nina ! " he said, while 
the breezes flapped and fluttered his red and blue sails, 
" Old Tiff's 'mazin' happy to see you. Miss Fanny's well, 
thank ye ; and Mas'r Teddy and the baby all doing nicely. 
Bress de Lord, Miss Nina, be so good as to get down and 
come in. I 's got some nice berries dat I picked in de 
swamp, and Miss Fanny '11 be proud to have you take 
some. You see," he said, laughing heartily, and regarding 
his peculiar costume, " I was n't looking for any quality 
long dis yer time o' day, so I just got on my old clothes." 

" Why, Uncle Tiff, I think they become you immensely! " 
said Nina. " Your outfit is really original and picturesque. 
You're not one of the people that are ashamed of their 
work, are you, Uncle Tiff? So, if you just lead my horse to 
that stump, I '11 get down." 

"Laws, no, Miss Nina!" said Tiff, as with alacrit}^ he 
obeyed her orders. " Spects, if Old Tiff was 'shamed of 
work, he 'd have a heap to be 'shamed of; cause it's pretty 
much all work with him. 'T is so ! " 

" Tomtit pretended to come with me," said Nina, as she 
looked round ; " but he lagged behind by the brook to get 
some of those green grapes, and I suspect it's the last I 



80 tiff's garden. 

shall see of him. So, Tiff, if you please to tie Sylphine in 
the shade, I ; 11 go in to see Miss Fanny." 

,And Nina tripped lightly up the walk, now bordered on 
either side by china asters and marigolds, to where Fanny 
was standing bashfully in the door waiting for her. In her 
own native woods this child was one of the boldest, freest, 
and happiest of romps. There was scarce an eligible tree 
which she could not climb, or a thicket she had not ex- 
plored. She was familiar with every flower, every bird, 
every butterfly, of the vicinity She knew precisely when 
every kind of fruit would ripen, and flower would blossom ; 
and was so aufait in the language of birds and squirrels, 
that she might almost have been considered one of the fra- 
ternity. Her only companion and attendant, Old Tiff, had 
that quaint, fanciful, grotesque nature which is the furthest 
possible removed from vulgarity ; and his frequent lectures 
on proprieties and conventionalities, his long and prolix 
narrations of her ancestral glories and distinctions, had suc- 
ceeded in infusing into her a sort of childish consciousness 
of dignity, while at the same time it inspired her with a 
bashful awe of those whom she saw surrounded with the 
actual insignia and circumstances of position and fortune. 
After all, Tiff's method of education, instinctive as it was, 
was highly philosophical, since a certain degree of self- 
respect is the nurse of many virtues, and a shield from 
many temptations. There is also something, perhaps, in 
the influence of descent. Fanny certainly inherited from 
her mother a more delicate organization than generally 
attends her apparent station in life. She had, also, what 
perhaps belongs to the sex, a capability of receiving the 
mysteries and proprieties of dress ; and Nina, as she stood 
on the threshold of the single low room, could not but be 
struck with the general air of refinement which character- 
ized both it and its little mistress. There were flowers 
from the swamps and hedges arranged with care and taste, 
feathers of birds, strings of eggs of different color, dried 
grasses, and various little woodland curiosities, which 



tiff's garden. 81 

showed a taste refined by daily intercourse with nature, 
Fanny herself was arrayed in a very pretty print dress, 
which her father had brought home in a recent visit, with 
a cape of white muslin. Her brown hair was brushed 
smoothly from her forehead, and her clear blue eyes, and 
fair, rosy complexion, gave her a pleasing air of intelligence 
and refinement. 

" Thank you," said Nina, as Fanny offered her the only 
chair the establishment afforded ; " but I 'm going with 
Tiff out in the garden. I never can bear to be in the 
house such days as this. You did n't expect me over so 
early, Uncle Tiff; but I took a notable turn, this morning, 
and routed them up to an early breakfast, on purpose that I 
might have time to get over here before the heat came on. 
It 's pleasant out here, now the shadow of the woods falls 
across the garden so. How beautifully those trees wave ! 
Tiff', go on with your work — never mind me." 

"Yes, Miss Nina, it's mighty pleasant. Why, I was 
out in dis yer garden at four o'clock dis morning, and 
'peared like dese yer trees was waving like a psalm, so sort 
o' still, you know ! Kind o' spreading out der hands like 
dey 'd have prayers ; and dere was a mighty handsome 
star a looking clown. Jspects dat ar star is one of de very 
oldest families up dar." 

" Most likely," said Nina, cheerily. " They call it Venus, 
the star of love, Uncle Tiff ; and I believe that is a very 
old family." 

" Love is a mighty good ting, any how," said Tiff. 
" Lord bress you, Miss Nina, it makes every ting go kind o' 
easy. Sometimes, when I 'm studding upon dese yer tings, 
I says to myself, 'pears like de trees in de wood, dey loves 
each oder. Dey stands kind o' locking arms so, and dey kind 
o' nod der heads, and whispers so ! 'Pears like de grape- 
vines, and de birds, and all dem ar tings, dey lives com- 
fortable togeder, like dey was peaceable, and liked each 
oder. Now, folks is apt to get a stewin' and a frettin' 
round, and turning up der noses at dis yer ting, and dat 



82 tiff's garden. 

ar ; but 'pears like cle Lord's works takes everyting mighty 
easy. Dey just kind o' lives along 1 peaceable. I tink it's 
mighty 'structive ! " 

" Certainly it is," said Nina. " Old Mother Nature is an 
excellent manager, and always goes on making the best of 
everything." 

" Dere 's heaps done dat ar way, and no noise," said Tiff". 
"Why, Miss Nina, I studies upon dat ar out here in my 
garden. Why, look at dat ar corn, way up over your head, 
now ! All dat ar growed dis yer summer. No noise 'bout 
it— 'pears like nobody couldn't see when 'twas done. 
Dey were telling us in camp-meeting how de Lord created 
de heaven and de earth. Now, Miss Nina, Tiff has his own 
thoughts, you know ; and Tiff says, 'pears like de Lord is 
creating de heaven and de earth all de time. 'Pears like 
you can see Him a doing of it right afore your face ; and 
dem growing tings are so curus ! Miss Nina, 'pears for all 
de world like as if dey was critters ! 'Pears like each of 
'em has der own way, and won't go no oder ! Dese yer 
beans, dey will come up so curus right top o' de stalks ; 
dey will turn round de pole one way, and, if you was to 
tie 'em, you couldn't make 'em go round t' oder ! Dey 's 
set in der own way — dey is, for all dey's so still 'bout 
it ! Laws, Miss Nina, dese yer tings makes Tiff laugh — 
does so ! " he said, sitting down, and indulging in one of 
his fits of merriment. 

" You are quite a philosopher, Tiff," said Nina. 

"Laws, Miss Nina, I hopes not!" said Tiff, solemnly; 
" 'cause one of de preachers at de camp-meeting used up 
dem folk terrible, I tell you ! Dat ar pretty much all I 
could make out of de sermon, dat people mustn't be 'loso- 
phers ! Laws, Miss Nina, I hope I an't no sich ! " 

" 0, I mean the good kind, Uncle Tiff. But how were 
you pleased, upon the whole, at the camp-meeting ? " said 
Nina. 

" Well," said Tiff, " Miss Nina, I hope I got something 
— I don't know fa'rly how much 'tis. But, Miss Nina, it 



TIFF'S GARDEN. 83 

'pears like as if you had come out here to instruct us 'bout 
dese yer tings. Miss Fanny, she don't read very well 
yet, and 'pears like if you could read us some out of de 
Bible, and teach us how to be Christians — " 

"Why, Tiff, I scarcely know how myself!" said Nina. 
" I '11 send Milly to talk to you. She is a real good Chris- 
tian." 

" Milly is a very nice woman," said Tiff, somewhat 
doubtfully ; " but, Miss Xina, 'pears like I would rather 
have white teaching ; 'pears like I would rather have you, 
if it would n't be too much trouble." 

" 0, no, Uncle Tiff! If you want to hear me read, I '11 
read to you now," said Nina. "Have you got a Bible, 
here ? Stay ; I '11 sit down. I '11 take the chair and sit 
down in the shade, and then you need n't stop your work." 

Tiff hurried into the house to call Fanny ; produced a 
copy of a Testament, which, with much coaxing, he had per- 
suaded Cripps to bring on his last visit ; and, while Fanny 
sat at her feet making larkspur rings, she turned over 
the pages, to think what to read. When she saw Tiff's 
earnest and eager attention, her heart smote her to think 
that the book, so valuable in his eyes, was to her almost an 
unread volume. 

" What shall I read to you, Tiff? What do you want to 
hear?" 

" Well, I wants to find out de shortest way I ken, how 
dese yer chil'en 's to be got to heaven ! " said Tiff. " Dis 
yer world is mighty well long as it holds out ; but, den, yer 
see, it don't last forever ! Tings is passing away ! " 

Nina thought a moment. The great question of ques- 
tions, so earnestly proposed to her ! The simple, childlike 
old soul hanging confidingly on her answer ! At last she 
said, with a seriousness quite unusual with her : 

" Tiff, I think the best thing I can do is to read to you 
about our Saviour. He came down into this world to show 
us the way to heaven. And I '11 read you, when I come 
here days, all that there is about Him — all he said and did ; 



84 tiff's garden. 

and then, perhaps, you '11 see the way yourself. Perhaps," 
she added, with a sigii, " I shall, too ! " 

As she spoke, a sudden breeze of air shook the clusters 
of a prairie-rose, which was climbing into the tree under 
which she was sitting, and a shower of rose-leaves fell 
around her. 

"Yes," she said to herself, as the rose-leaves fell on 
her book, "it's quite true, what he says. Everything is 
passing ! " 

And now, amid the murmur of the pine-trees, and the 
rustling of the garden-vines, came on the ear of the listen- 
ers the first words of that sweet and ancient story : 

" Now, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, be- 
hold there came wise men from the East, saying, ' Where 
is He that is born King of the Jews ? For we have seen 
his star in the East, and are come to worship Him.' " 

Probably more cultivated minds would have checked the 
progress of the legend by a thousand questions, statistical 
and geographical, as to where Jerusalem was, and who the 
wise men were, and how far the East was from Jerusalem, 
and whether it was probable they would travel so far. But 
Nina was reading to children, and to an old child-man, in 
whose grotesque and fanciful nature there was yet treas- 
ured a believing sweetness, like the amulets supposed to 
belong to the good genii of the fairy tales. The quick 
fancy of her auditors made reality of the story as it went 
along. A cloudy Jerusalem built itself up immediately in 
their souls, and became as well known to them as the 

neighboring town of E . Herod, the king, became a 

real walking personage in their minds, with a crown on his 
head. And Tiff immediately discerned a resemblance be- 
tween him and a certain domineering old General Eaton, 
who used greatly to withstand the cause of virtue, and the 
Peyton s, in the neighborhood where he was brought up. 
Tiff's indignation, when the slaughter of the innocents 
was narrated, was perfectly outrageous. He declared "He 
would n't have believed that of King Herod, bad as he 



tiff's gaeden. 85 

was ! " and, good-hearted and inoffensive as Tiff was in 
general, it really seemed to afford him comfort, " dat de 
debil had got dat ar man 'fore now." 

" Sarves him right, too ! " said Tiff, striking fiercely at a 
weed with his hoe. "Killing all dem por little chil'en ! 
"Why, what harm had dey done him, any way ? Wonder 
what he thought of hisself ! " 

Nina found it necessary to tranquillize the good creature, 
to get a hearing for the rest of the story. She went on 
reading of the wild night-journey of the wise men, and how 
the star went before them till it stood over the place where 
the child was. How they went in, and saw the young 
child, and Mary his mother, and fell down before him, offer- 
ing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

" Lord bless you ! I wish I'd a been dar ! " said Tiff. 
"And dat ar chile was de Lord of glory, sure 'nough, Miss 
Nina ! I hearn 'em sing dis yer hymn at de camp-meeting, 
— you know, 'bout cold on his cradle. You know it goes 
dis yer way." And Tiff sung, to a kind of rocking lullaby, 
words whose poetic imagery had hit his fancy before he 
knew their meaning. 

" Cold on his cradle the dew-drops are shining, 
Low lies his head with the heasts of the stall ; 
Angels adore, in slumber reclining, 

Maker, and Saviour, and Monarch of all." 

Nina had never realized, till she felt it in the undoubting 
faith of her listeners, the wild, exquisite poetry of that le- 
gend, which, like an immortal lily, blooms in the heart of 
Christianity as spotless and as tender now as eighteen 
hundred years ago. 

That child of Bethlehem, when afterwards he taught in 
Galilee, spoke of seed which fell into a good and honest 
heart ; and words could nbt have been more descriptive of 
the nature which was now receiving this seed of Paradise. 

When Nina had finished her reading, she found her own 
heart touched by the effect which she had produced. The 



86 tiff's garden. 

nursing, child-loving- Old Tiff was ready, in a moment, tc 
bow before his Redeemer, enshrined in the form of an infant; 
and it seemed as if the air around him had been made sacred 
by the sweetness of the story. 

As Nina was mounting her horse to return, Tiff brought 
out a little basket full of wild raspberries. 

"Tiff wants to give you something," he said. 

"Thank you, Uncle Tiff. How delightful! Now, if 
you '11 only give me a cluster of your Michigan rose ! " 

Proud and happy was 1 iff, and, pulling down the very top- 
most cluster of his rose, he presented it to her. Alas ! before 
Nina reached home, it hung drooping from the heat. 

"The grass withereth, and the flower fadeth ; but the 
word of our God shall stand forever." 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE WAENING. 

In life organized as it is at the South, there are two cur- 
rents ; — one, the current of the master's fortunes, feeling's, 
and hopes ; the other, that of the slave's. It is a melan- 
choly fact in the history of the human race, as yet, that 
there have been multitudes who follow the triumphal march 
of life only as captives, to whom the voice of the trumpet, 
the waving of the banners, the shouts of the people, only 
add to the bitterness of enthralment. 

While life to Nina was daily unfolding in brighter colors, 
the slave-brother at her side was destined to feel an addi 
tional burden on his already unhappy lot. 

It was toward evening, after having completed his daily 
cares, that he went to the post-office for the family letters. 
Among these, one was directed to himself, and he slowly 
perused it as he rode home through the woods. It was as 
follows : 

My dear Brother : I told you how comfortably we 
were living on our place — I and my children. Since then, 
everything has been changed. Mr. Tom Gordon came here 
and put in a suit for the estate, and attached me and my 
children as slaves. He is a dreadful man. The case has 
been tried and gone against us. The judge said that both 
deeds of emancipation — both the one executed in Ohio, 
and the one here — were of no effect ; that my boy was a 
slave, and could no more hold property than a mule before 
a plough. I had some good friends here, and people pitied 
it. ' 8* 



00 THE WARNING. 

me very much ; but nobody could help me. Tom Gordon 
is a bad man — a very bad man. I cannot tell you all that 
he said to me. I only tell you that I will kill myself and 
my children before we will be his slaves. Harry, I have 
been free, and I know what liberty is. My children have 
been brought up free, and if I can help it they never shall 
know what slavery is. I have got away, and am hiding 
with a colored family here in Natchez. I hope to get to 
Cincinnati, where I have friends. 

"My dear brother, I did hope to do something for you. 
Now I cannot. Nor can you do anything for me. The law 
is on the side of our oppressors ; but I hope God will help 
us. Farewell ! Your affectionate 

" Sister." 

It is difficult to fathom the feelings of a person brought 
up in a position so wholly unnatural as that of Harry. The 
feelings which had been cultivated in him by education, and 
the indulgence of his nominal possessors, were those of an 
honorable and gentlemanly man. His position was abso- 
lutely that of the common slave, without one legal claim to 
anything on earth, one legal right of protection in any 
relation of life. What any man of strong nature would 
feel on hearing such tidings from a sister, Harry felt. 

In a moment there rose up before his mind the picture of 
Nina in all her happiness and buoyancy — in all the fortu- 
nate accessories in her lot. Had the vague thoughts which 
crowded on his mind been expressed in words, they might 
have been something like these : 

"I have two sisters, daughters of one father, both beau- 
tiful, both amiable and good ; but one has rank, and posi- 
tion, and wealth, and ease, and pleasure ; the other is an 
outcast, unprotected, given up to the brutal violence of a 
vile and wicked man. She has been a good wife, and a 
good mother. Her husband has done all he could to save 
her ; but the cruel hand of the law grasps her and her chil- 
dren, and hurls them back into the abyss from which it was 



THE WARNING. 89 

his life-study to raise them. And I can do nothing- ! I am 
not even a man ! And this curse is on me, and on my wife, 
and on my children and children's children, forever ! Yes, 
what does the judge say, in this letter ? 'He can.no more 
own anything than the mule before his plough ! ' That 's 
to be the fate of every child of mine ! And yet people say, 
' You have all you want ; why are you not happy ? ' I wish 
they could try it ! Do they think broadcloth coats and gold 
watches can comfort a man for all this ? " 

Harry rode along, with his hands clenched upon the letter, 
the reins drooping- from the horse's neck, in the same unfre- 
quented path where he had twice before met Dred. Look- 
ing up, he saw him the third time, standing silently, as if he 
had risen from the ground. 

•" Where did you come from ? " said he. " Seems to me 
you are always at hand when anything- is going against 
me! " 

" Went not my spirit with thee 1 " said Dred. "Have I 
not seen it all ? It is because we will bear this, that we 
have it to bear, Harry." 

" But," said Harry, " what can we do ? " 

" Do ? What does the wild horse do ? Launch out our 
hoofs ! rear up, and come down on them ! What does the 
rattlesnake do ? Lie in their path, and bite ! Why did 
they make slaves of us ? They tried the wild Indians first. 
Why did n't they keep to them ? They would n't be slaves, 
and we will! They that will bear the yoke, may bear it ! " 

"But," said Harry, "Dred, this is all utterly hopeless. 
Without any means, or combination, or leaders, we should 
only rush on to our own destruction." 

" Let us die, then ! " said Dred. " What if we do .die ? 
What great matter is that ? If they bruise our head, we 
can sting their heels ! 2\ T at Turner — they killed him ; but 
the fear of him almost drove them to set free their slaves ! 
Yes, it was argued among them. They came within two or 
three votes of it in their assembly. A little more fear, and 
they would have done it. If my father had succeeded, the 



90 THE WAKNING. 

slaves iii Carolina would be free to-day. Die ? — "Why not 
die? Christ was crucified! Has everything dropped out 
of you, that you can't die — that you '11 crawl like worms, 
for the sake of living' ; ! " 

" I 'm not afraid of death, myself/' said Harry. " God 
knows I would n't care if I did die ; but — - " 

" Yes, I know,'' said Dred. " She that letteth will let, 
till she be taken out of the way. I tell you, Harry, there 's 
a seal been loosed — there 's a vial poured out on the air; 
and the destroying' angel standeth over Jerusalem, with his 
sword drawn ! " 

" What do you mean by that ? " said Harry. 

Dred stood silent, for a moment ; his frame assumed the 
rigid tension of a cataleptic state, and his voice sounded 
like that of a person speaking from a distance, yet there 
was a strange distinctness in it. 

" The words of the prophet, and the vision that he hath 
from the Lord, when he saw the vision, falling into a trance, 
and having his e} r es open, and behold he saw a roll 
flying through the heavens, and it was written, within" and 
without, with mourning and lamentation and woe ! Behold, 
it cometh ! Behold, the slain of the Lord shall be many ! 
They shall fall in the house and by the way ! The bride 
shall fall in her chamber, and the child shall die in its 
cradle ! There shall be a cry in the land of Egypt, for 
there shall not be a house where there is not one dead ! " 

"Dred! Dred! Dred!" said Harry, pushing him by 
the shoulder; " come out of this — come out! It's fright- 
ful ! " 

Dred stood looking before him, with his head inclined 
forward, his hand upraised, and his eyes strained, with the 
air of one who is trying to make out something through a 
thick fog. 

" I see her ! " he said. " Who is that by her ? His back 
is turned. Ah ! I see — it is he ! And there 's Harry and 
Milly ! Try hard — try ! You won't do it. No, no use 
sending for the doctor. There 's not one to be had. They 



THE WARNING. 91 

are all too busy. Rub her hands ! Yes. But — it 's no 
good. ' Whom the Lord loveth, he taketh away from the 
evil to come.' Lay her down. Yes, it is Death ! Death ! 
Death ! " 

Harry had often seen the strange moods of Dred, and he 
shuddered now, because he partook somewhat in the com- 
mon superstitions, which prevailed among the slaves, of his 
prophetic power. He shook and called him ; but he turned 
slowly away, and, with eyes that seemed to see nothing, 
yet guiding himself with his usual dextrous agility, he 
plunged again into the thickness of the swamp, and was 
soon lost to view. 

After his return home it was with the sensation of chill 
at his heart that he heard Aunt Nesbit reading to Nina 
portions of a letter, describing the march through some 
Northern cities of the cholera, which was then making 
fearful havoc on our American shore. 

" Nobody seems to know how to manage it," the letter 
said ; " physicians are all at a loss. It seems to spurn all 
laws. It bursts upon cities like a thunderbolt, scatters 
desolation and death, and is gone with ecpual rapidity. 
People rise in the morning well, and are buried before even- 
ing. In one day houses are swept of a whole family." 

"Ah," said Harry, to himself, " I see the meaning now, 
but what does it portend to us? " 

How the strange foreshadowing had risen to the mind 
of Drecl, we shall not say. Whether there be mysterious 
electric sympathies which, floating through the air, bear 
dim presentiments, on their wings, or whether some stray 
piece of intelligence had dropped on his ear, and been in- 
terpreted by the burning' fervor of his soul, we know not. 
The news, however, left very little immediate impression 
on the daily circle at Canema. It was a dread reality in the 
far distance. Harry only pondered it with anxious fear. 



CHAPTER IX . 

THE MORNING STAR. 

Nina continued her visits to Tiff's garden on almost 
every pleasant morning or evening. Tiff had always some 
little offering, either berries or flowers, to present, or a nice 
little luncheon of fish or birds, cooked in some mode of 
peculiar delicacy ; and which, served up in sylvan style, 
seemed to have something of the wild relish of the woods. 
In return, she continued to read the story so interesting 
to him ; and it was astonishing how little explanation it 
needed — how plain honesty of heart, and lovingness of 
nature, interpreted passages over which theologians have 
wrangled in vain. It was not long before Tiff had imper- 
sonated to himself each of the disciples, particularly Peter ; 
so that, when anything was said by him, Tiff would nod his 
head significantly, and say, " Ah, ah ! dat ar 's just like him ! 
He 's allers a puttin' in ; but he 's a good man, arter all ! " 

What impression was made on the sensitive young nature, 
through whom, as a medium, Tiff received this fresh reve- 
lation, we may, perhaps, imagine. There are times in life 
when the soul, like a half-grown climbing vine, hangs 
wavering tremulously, stretching out its tendrils for some- 
thing to ascend by. Such are generally the great transition 
periods of life, when we are passing from the ideas and 
conditions of one stage of existence to those of another. 
Such times are most favorable for the presentation of the 
higher truths of religion. In the hazy, slumberous stillness 
of that midsummer atmosphere, in the long, silent rides 
through the pines, Nina half awakened from the thoughtless 



THE MORNING STAR. 93 

dreams of childhood, yearning for something nobler than 
she yet had lived for, thought over, and revolved in her 
mind, this beautiful and spotless image of God, revealed in 
man, which her daily readings presented ; and the world 
that he created seemed to whisper to her in every pulsation 
of its air, in every breath of its flowers, in the fanning of its 
winds, "He still liveth, and he loveth thee." The voice 
of the Good Shepherd fell on the ear of the wandering lamb, 
calling her to his arms ; and Xina found herself one day 
unconsciously repeating, as she returned through the woods, 
words which she had often heard read at church : 

" When thou saidst unto me, Seek ye my face, my heart 
said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." 

Nina had often dreaded the idea of becoming a Christian, 
as one shrinks from the idea of a cold, dreary passage, which 
must be passed to gain a quiet home. But suddenly, as if 
by some gentle invisible hand, the veil seemed to be drawn 
which hid the face of Almighty Love from her view. She 
beheld the earth and the heavens transfigured in the light 
of his smile. A strange and unspeakable joy arose within 
her, as if some loving presence were always near her. It 
was with her when she laid down at night, and when she 
awoke in the morning the strange happiness had not 
departed. Her feelings may be best expressed by an 
extract from a letter which she wrote at this time to 
Clayton. 

" It seems to me that I have felt a greater change in me 
within the last two months than in my whole life before. 
When I look back at what I was in New York, three 
months ago, actually I hardly know myself. It seems to 
me in those old days that life was only a frolic to me, as 
it is to the kitten. I don't really think that there was much 
harm in me, only the want of good. In those days, some- 
times I used to have a sort of dim longing to be better, 
particularly when Livy Bay was at school. It seemed as 
if she woke up something that had been asleep in me ; but 



94 THE MORNING STAR. 

she went away, and I fell asleep again, and life went on 
like a dream. Then I became acquainted with you, and 
you began to rouse me again, and for some time I thought 
I did n't like to wake ; it was just as it is when one lies 
asleep in the morning — it 's so pleasant to sleep and dream, 
that one resists any one who tries to bring them back to 
life. I used to feel quite pettish when I first knew you, and 
sometimes wished you 'd let me alone, because I saw that 
you belonged to a different kind of sphere from what I 'd 
been living in. And I had a presentiment that, if I let you 
go on, life would have to be something more than a joke 
with me. But you would, like a very indiscreet man as you 
are, you would insist on being in sober earnest. 

" I used to think that I had no heart ; I begin to think I 
have a good deal now. Every day it seems as if I could 
love more and more ; and a great many things are growing 
clear to me that I did n't use to understand, and I 'm grow- 
ing happier every day. 

" You know my queer old protege, Uncle Tiff, who lives 
in the woods here. For some time past I have been to his 
house every day, reading to him in the Testament, and it 
has had a very great effect on me. It affected me very 
much, in the first place, that he seemed so very earnest 
about religion, when I, who ought to know so much more, 
was so indifferent to it ; and when the old creature, with 
tears in his eyes, actually insisted upon it that I should 
show his children the road to heaven, then I began to read 
to him the Testament, the life of Jesus. I did n't know 
myself how beautiful it was — how suited to all our wants. 
It seemed to me I never saw so much beauty in anything 
before ; and it seems as if it had waked a new life in me. 
Everything is changed ; and it is the beauty of Christ that 
has changed it. You know I always loved beauty above 
all things, in music, in nature, and in flowers ; but it seems 
to me that I see something now in Jesus more beautiful 
than all. It seems as if all these had been shadows of 
beauty, but he is the substance. It is strange, but I have 



THE MORNING STAR. 95 

a sense of him, his living and presence, that sometimes 
almost overpowers me. It seems as if he had been follow- 
ing me always, but I had not seen him. He has been a 
good shepherd, seeking the thoughtless lamb. He has, all 
my life, been calling me child ; but till lately my heart 
has never answered, Father ! Is this religion ? Is this 
what people mean by conversion ? I tried to tell Aunt 
Nesbit how I felt, because now I feel kinder to everybody ; 
and really my heart smote me to think how much fun I had 
made of her, and now I begin to love her very much. She 
was so anxious I should talk with Mr. Titmarsh, because 
he is a minister. Well, you know I did n't want to do it, 
but I thought I ought to, because poor aunty really seemed 
to feel anxious I should. I suppose, if I were as perfect as 
I ought to be, a good man's stiff ways wouldn't trouble 
me so. But stiff people, you know, are my particular tempt- 
ation. 

"He came and made a pastoral call, the other day, and 
talked to me. I don't think he understood me very well, 
and I 'm sure I didn't understand him. He told me how 
many kinds of faith there were, and how many kinds of love. 
I believe there were three kinds of faith, and two kinds of 
love ; and he thought it was important to know whether I 
had got the right kind. He said we ought not to love God 
because he loves us, but because he is holy. He wanted 
to know whether I had any just views of sin, as an infinite 
evil ; and I told him I had n't the least idea of what infinite 
was ; and that I had n't any views of anything, but the 
beauty of Christ ; that I did n't understand anything about 
the different sorts of faith, but that I felt perfectly sure that 
Jesus is so good that he would make me feel right, and 
give me right views, and do everything for me that I 
need. 

" He wanted to know if I loved him because he magnified 
the law, and made it honorable ; and I told him I did n't 
understand what that meant 

" I don't think, on the whole, that the talk did me much 
ii. 9 



96 THE MORNING STAR. 

good. It only confused me, and made me very uncomfort- 
able. But I went out to Old Tiff's in the evening 1 , and read 
how Jesus received the little children. You never saw 
anybody so delighted as Old Tiff was. He got me to read 
it to him three or four times over ; and now he gets me to 
read it every time I go there, and he says he likes it better 
than any other part of the Testament. Tiff and I get along 
very well together. He does n't know any more about faith 
than I do, and has n't any better views than I have. Aunt 
Nesbit is troubled about me, because I 'm so happy. She 
says she 's afraid I have n't any sense of sin. Don't you 
remember my telling you how happy I felt the first time I 
heard real music ? I thought, before that, that I could sing 
pretty well ; but in one hour all my music became trash in 
my eyes. And yet, I would not have missed it for the world. 
So it is now. That beautiful life of Jesus — so sweet, so 
calm, so pure, so unselfish, so perfectly natural, and yet so 
far beyond nature — has shown me what a poor, sinful, low 
creature I am ; and yet I rejoice. I feel, sometimes, as I 
did when I first heard a full orchestra play some of Mozart's 
divine harmonies. I forgot that I was alive ; I lost all 
thought of myself entirely ; and I was perfectly happy. So 
it is now. This loveliness and beauty that I see makes me 
happy without any thought of myself. It seems to me, 
sometimes, that while I see it I never can suffer. 

" There is another thing that is strange to me ; and that 
is, that the Bible has grown so beautiful to me. It seems to 
me that it has been all my life like the transparent picture, 
without any light behind it ; and now it is all illuminated, 
and its words are full of meaning to me. I am light-hearted 
and happy — happier than ever I was. Do you remember, 
the first day you came to Canema, that I told you it seemed 
so sad that we must die ? That feeling is all gone, now. I 
feel that Jesus is everywhere, and that there is no such 
thing as dying ; it is only going out of one room into 
another 

" Everybody wonders to see how light-hearted I am ; and 



THE MORNING STAR. 97 

poor aunty says, 'she trembles for me.' I couldn't help 
thinking of that, the other morning I was reading to Tiff; 
what Jesus said when they asked him why his disciples did 
not fast : ' Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn 
while the bridegroom is with them ? ' 

" Now, my dear friend, you must tell me what you think 
of all this, because, you know, I always tell you everything. 
I have written to Livy about it, because I know it will make 
her so happy. Milly seems to understand it all, and what 
she says to me really helps me very much. I always used 
to think that Milly had some strange, beautiful kind of in- 
ward life, that I knew nothing of, because she would speak 
with so much certainty of God's love, and act as if it was 
so real to her ; and she would tell me so earnestly, ' Chile, 
he loves you ! ' Now I see into it — that mystery of his 
love to us, and how he overcomes and subdues all things by 
love ; and I understand how ' perfect love casteth out 
fear.' " 

To this letter Nina soon received an answer, from which 
also we give an extract : 

"If I was so happy, my dearest one, as to be able to 
awaken that deeper and higher nature which I always knew 
was in you, I thank God. But, if I ever was in any re- 
spect your teacher, you have passed beyond my teachings 
now. Your childlike simplicity of nature makes you a 
better scholar than I in that school where the first step is 
to forget all our worldly wisdom, and become a little child. 
We men have much more to contend with, in the pride of 
our nature, in our habits of worldly reasoning. It takes us 
long to learn the lesson that faith is the highest wisdom. 
Don't trouble your head, dear Nina, with Aunt Nesbit or 
Mr. Titmarsh. What you feelis faith. They define it, and 
joufeel it. And there 's all the difference between the defi- 
nition and the feeling, that there is between the husk and 
the corn. 



98 THE MORNING STAR. 

" As for me, I am less happy than you. Religion seems 
to me to have two parts to it. One part is the aspiration 
of man's nature, and the other is God's answer to those as- 
pirations. I have, as yet, only the first ; perhaps, because 
I am less simple and less true ; perhaps, because I am not 
yet become a little child. So you must be my guide, instead 
of I yours ; for I believe it is written of the faithful, that a 
little child shall lead them. 

" I am a good deal tried now, my dear, because I am 
coming to a crisis in my life. I am going to take a step 
that will deprive me of many friends, of popularity, and 
that will, perhaps, alter all my course for the future. But, 
if I should lose friends and popularity, you would love me 
still, would you not ? It is wronging you to ask such a 
question; but yet I should like to have you answer it. It 
will make me stronger for what I have to do. On Thursday 
of this week, my case will come on again. I am very busy 
just now ; but the thought of you mingles with every 
thought." 



CHAPTER X. 

THE LEGAL DECISION. 

The time for the session of the Supreme Court had now 
arrived, and Clayton's cause was to be reconsidered. Judge 
Clayton felt exceedingly chagrined, as the time drew near. 
Being himself the leading judge of the Supreme Court, the 
declaration of the bench would necessarily be made known 
through him. 

" It is extremely painful to me," he said, to Mrs. Clay- 
ton, " to have this case referred to me ; for I shall be obliged 
to reverse the decision." 

"Well," said Mrs. Clayton, "Edward must have forti- 
tude to encounter the usual reverses of his profession. He 
made a gallant defence, and received a great deal of admi- 
ration, which will not be at all lessened by this." 

" You do not understand me," said Judge Clayton. " It 
is not the coming out in opposition to Edward which princi- 
pally annoys me. It is the nature of the decision that I am 
obliged to make — the doctrine that I feel myself forced to 
announce." 

" And must you, then ? " said Mrs. Clayton. 

" Yes, I must," said Judge Clayton. " A judge can only 
perceive and declare. What I see, I must speak, though it 
go against all my feelings and all my sense of right." 

"I don't see, for my part," said Mrs. Clayton, "how 
that decision can possibly be reversed, without allowing 
the most monstrous injustice." 

"Such is the case," said Judge Clayton; " but I sit in 
my seat, not to make laws, nor to alter them, but simply to 
n. 9* 



100 THE LEGAL DECISION. 

declare what they are. However bad the principle declared, 
it is not so bad as the proclamation of a falsehood would 
be. I have sworn truly to declare the laws, and I must 
keep my oath." 

" And have you talked with Edward about it ? " 

" Not particularly. He understands, in general, the 
manner in which the thing lies in my mind." 

This conversation took place just before it was time for 
Judge Clayton to go to his official duties. 

The court-room, on this occasion, was somewhat crowded. 
Barker, being an active, resolute, and popular man, with a 
certain class, had talked up a considerable excitement with 
regard to his case. Clayton's friends were interested in it 
on his account ; lawyers were, for the sake of the princi- 
ple ; so that, upon the whole, there was a good deal of 
attention drawn towards this decision. 

Among the spectators on the morning of the court, Clay- 
ton remarked Harry. For reasons which our readers may 
appreciate, his presence there was a matter of interest to 
Clayton. He made his way toward him. 

"Harry," he said, "how came you here ? " 

" The ladies," said Harry, " thought they would like to 
know how the thing went, and so I got on to my horse and 
came over." 

As he spoke, he placed in Clayton's hand a note, and, 
as the paper touched his hand, a close spectator might have 
seen the color rise in his cheek. He made his way back to 
his place, and opened a law-book, which he held up before 
his face. Inside the law-book, however, was a little sheet 
of gilt-edged paper, on which were written a few words in 
pencil, more interesting than all the law in the world. 
Shall we commit the treason of reading over his shoulder ? 
It was as follows : 

"You say you may to-day be called to do something 
which you think right, but which will lose you many friends ; 
which will destroy your popularity, which may alter all 



THE LEGAL DECISION. 101 

your prospects in life ; and you ask if I can love you yet. 
I say, in answer, that it was not your friends that I loved, 
nor your popularity, nor your prospects, but you. I can 
love and honor a man who is not afraid nor ashamed to do 
what he thinks to be right ; and therefore I hope ever to 
remain yours, Nix a. 

" P. S. I only got your letter this morning, and have 
but just time to scribble this and send by Harry. We are 
all well, and shall be glad to see you as soon as the case is 
over." 

" Clayton, my boy, you are very busy with your author- 
ities," said Frank Russel, behind him. Clayton hastily 
hid the paper in his hand. 

"It's charming!" said Russel, "to have little manu- 
script annotations on law. It lights it up, like the illumin- 
ations in old missals. But, say, Clayton, you live at the 
fountain-head ; — how is the case going ? " 

" Against me ! " said Clayton. 

" Well, it 's no great odds, after all. You have had your 
triumph. These after-thoughts cannot take away that. * * 
* * * But, hush ! There's your father going to speak ! " 

Every eye in the court-room was turned upoii Judge 
Clayton, who was standing with his usual self-poised com- 
posure of manner. In a clear, deliberate voice, he spoke as 
follows : 

" A judge cannot but lament, when such cases as the 
present are brought into judgment. It is impossible that 
the reasons on which they go can be appreciated, but 
where institutions similar to our own exist, and are thor- 
oughly understood. The struggle, too, in the judge's own 
breast, between the feelings of the man and the duty of the 
magistrate, is a severe one, presenting strong temptation to 
put aside such questions, if it be possible. It is useless, 
however, to complain of things inherent in our political 
state. And it is criminal in a court to avoid any responsi- 
bility which the laws impose. With whatever reluctance, 



102 THE LEGAL DECISION. 

therefore, it is done, the court is compelled to express an 
opinion upon the extent of the dominion of the master over 
the slave in North Carolina. The indictment charges a bat- 
tery on Milly, a slave of Louisa NesLit. * * * * 

" The inquiry here is, whether a cruel and unreasonable 
battery on a slave by the hirer is indictable. The judge 
below instructed the jury that it is. He seems to have put 
it on the ground, that the defendant had but a special prop- 
erty. Our laws uniformly treat the master, or other person 
having the possession and command of the slave, as en- 
titled to the same extent of authority. The object is the 
same, the service of the slave; and the same powers must be 
confided. In a criminal proceeding, and, indeed, in refer- 
ence to all other persons but the general owner, the hirer 
and possessor of the slave, in relation to both rights and 
duties, is, for the time being, the owner. * * * * But, 
upon the general question, whether the owner is answerable 
criminaliter , for a battery upon his own slave, or other exer- 
cise of authority or force, not forbidden by statute, the 
court entertains but little doubt. That he is so liable, has 
never been decided ; nor, as far as is known, been hitherto 
contended. There has been no prosecution of the sort. 
The established habits and uniform practice of the country, 
in this respect, is the best evidence of the portion of powei 
deemed by the whole community requisite to the preserva- 
tion of the master's dominion. If we thought differently, 
we coxild not set our notions in array against the judgment 
of everybody else, and say that this or that authority may 
be safely lopped off. 

" This has indeed been assimilated at the bar to the other 
domestic relations : and arguments drawn from the well- 
established principles, which confer and restrain the author- 
ity of the parent over the child, the tutor over the pupil, 
the master over the apprentice, have been pressed on us. 

" The court does not recognize their application. There 
is no likeness between the cases. They are in opposition 
to each other, and there is an impassable gulf between 



THE LEGAL DECISION. 103 

them. The difference is that which exists between freedom 
and slavery ; and a greater cannot be imagined. In the 
one, the end in view is the happiness of the youth born to 
equal rights with that governor on whom the duty devolves 
of training the young to usefulness, in a station which he 
is afterwards to assume among freemen. To such an end, 
and with such a subject, moral and intellectual instruction 
seem the natural means ; and, for the most part, they are 
found to suffice. Moderate force is superadded only to 
make the others effectual. If that fail, it is better to leave 
the party to his own headstrong passions, and the ultimate 
correction of the law, than to allow it to be immoderately 
inflicted by a private person. With slavery it is far other- 
wise. The end is the profit of the master, his security, and 
the public safety ; the subject, one doomed, in his own per- 
son and his posterity, to live without knowledge, and with- 
out the capacity to make anything his own, and to toil that 
another may reap the fruits. What moral considerations 
shall be addressed to such a being, to convince him what it 
is impossible but that the most stupid must feel and know 
can never be true, — that he is thus to labor upon a princi- 
ple of natural duty, or for the sake of his own personal 
happiness ? Such services can only be expected from one 
who has no will of his own ; who surrenders his will in im- 
plicit obedience to that of another. Such obedience is the 
consequence only of uncontrolled authority over the body. 
There is nothing else which can operate to produce the 
effect. The power of the master must be absolute, to 

RENDER THE SUBMISSION OF THE SLAVE PERFECT. I IUOSt freely 

confess my sense of the harshness of this proposition. I 
feel it as deeply as any man can. And, as a principle of 
moral right, every person in his retirement must repudiate it. 
But, in the actual condition of things, it must be so. There 
is no remedy. This discipline belongs to the state of slav- 
ery. They cannot be disunited without abrogating at once 
the rights of the master, and absolving the slave from his 
subjection. It constitutes the curse of slavery to both the 



104 THE LEGAL DECISION. 

bond and the free portions of our population. But it is in- 
herent in the relation of master and slave. That there may 
be particular instances of cruelty and deliberate barbarity, 
where in conscience the law might properly interfere, is 
most probable. The difficulty is to determine where a court 
may properly begin. Merely in the abstract, it may well 
be asked which power of the master accords with right. 
The answer will probably sweep away all of them. But we 
cannot look at the matter in that light. The truth is that 
we are forbidden to enter upon a train of general reasoning 
on the subject. We cannot allow the right of the master 
to be brought into discussion in the courts of justice. The 
; slave, to remain a slave, must be made sensible that there is 
'■; no appeal from his master ; that his power is, in no instance, 
usurped, but is conferred by the laws of man, at least, if not 
by the law of God. The danger would be great, indeed, if 
the tribunals of justice should be called on to graduate the 
punishment appropriate to every temper, and every derelic- 
tion of menial duty. 

" No man can anticipate the many and aggravated provo- 
cations of the master which the slave would be constantly 
stimulated by his own passions, or the instigation of others, 
to give ; or the consequent wrath of the master, prompting 
him to bloody vengeance upon the turbulent traitor ; a ven- 
geance generally practised with impunity, by reason of its 
privacy. The court, therefore, disclaims the power of 
changing the relation in which these parts of our people 
stand to each other. 

* * * * ^ * ^ 

' ' I repeat, that I would gladly have avoided this ungrate- 
ful question. But, being brought to it, the court is com- 
pelled to declare that while slavery exists amongst us in its 
present state, or until it shall seem fit to the legislature to 
interpose express enactments to the contrary, it will be the 
imperative duty of the judges to recognize the full dominion 
of the owner over the slave, except where the exercise of it 
is forbidden by statute. 



THE LEGAL DECISION. 105 

" And this we do upon the ground that this dominion is 
essential to the value of slaves as property, to the security of 
the master and the public tranquillity, greatly dependent upon 
their subordination ; and, in fine, as most effectually securing 
the general protection and comfort of the slaves themselves. 
Judgment below reversed ; and judgment entered for the 
defendant." 

During the delivery of the decision Clayton's eyes, by 
accident, became fixed upon Harry, who was standing 
opposite to him, and who listened through the whole with 
breathless attention. He observed, as it went on, that his 
face became pale, his brow clouded, and that a fierce and 
peculiar expression flashed from his dark-blue eye. Never 
had Clayton so forcibly realized the horrors of slavery as 
when he heard them thus so. calmly defined ii the presence 
of one into whose soul the iron had entered. The tones of 
Judge Clayton's voice, so passionless, clear, and deliberate ; 
the solemn, calm, unflinching earnestness of his words, were 
more than a thousand passionate appeals. In the dead 
silence that followed, Clayton rose, and requested per- 
mission of the court to be allowed to say a few words in 
view of the decision. His father looked slightly surprised, 
and there was a little movement among the judges. But 
curiosity, perhaps, among other reasons, led the court to 
give consent. Clayton spoke : 

" I hope it will not be considered a disrespect or imper- 
tinence for me to say that the law of slavery, and the nature 
of that institution, have for the first time been made known 
to me to-day in their true character. I had before flattered 
myself with the hope that it might be considered a guardian 
institution, by which a stronger race might assume the care 
and instruction of the weaker one ; and I had hoped that its 
laws were capable of being so administered as to protect 
the defenceless. This illusion is destroyed. I see but too 
clearly now the purpose and object of the law. I cannot, 
therefore, as a Christian man, remain in the practice of law 
in a slave state. I therefore relinquish the profession, into 



106 THE LEGAL DECISION. 

which I have just been inducted, and retire forever from the 
bar of my native state." 

" There ! — there ! — there he goes ! " said Frank Russel. 
"The sticking-point has come at last. His conscience is up, 
and start him now who can ! " 

There was a slight motion of surprise in the court and 
audience. But Judge Clayton sat with unmoved serenity. 
The words had struck to the depth of his soul. They had 
struck at the root of one of his strongest hopes in life. 
But he had listened to them with the same calm and 
punctilious attention which it was his habit to give to 
every speaker ; and, with unaltered composure, he pro- 
ceeded to the next business of the court. 

A step so unusual occasioned no little excitement. But 
Clayton was not one of the class of people to whom his 
associates generally felt at liberty to express their opinions 
of his conduct. The quiet reserve of his manners dis- 
couraged any such freedom. As usual, in cases where a 
person takes an uncommon course from conscientious mo- 
tives, Clayton was severely criticized. The more trifling 
among the audience contented themselves with using the 
good set phrases, quixotic, absurd, ridiculous. The elder 
lawyers, and those friendly to Clayton, shook their heads, 
and said, rash, precipitate, unadvised. " There 's a want 
of ballast about him, somewhere ! " said one. "He is un- 
sound! " said another. "Radical and impracticable!" 
added a third. 

" Yes," said Frank Russel, who had just come up, " Clay 
ton is as radical and impracticable as the sermon on the 
mount, and that 's the most impracticable thing I know of 
in literature. We all can serve God and Mammon. We 
have discovered that happy medium in our day. Clayton is 
behind the times. He is Jewish in his notions. Don't you 
think so, Mr. Titmarsh ?" addressing the Rev. Mr. Titmarsh. 

" It strikes me that our young friend is extremely vMra, i} 
said Mr. Titmarsh. "I might feel disposed to sympathize 
with him in the feelings he expressed, to some extent; but, 



THE LEGAL DECISION. 107 

it having pleased the Divine Providence to establish the 
institution of slavery, I humbly presume it is not competent 
for human reason to judge of it." 

" And if it had pleased the Divine Providence to have 
established the institution of piracy, you 'd say the same 
thing, I suppose ! " said Frank Russel. 

"Certainly, my young friend," said Mr. Titmarsh. 
" Whatever is divinely ordered, becomes right by that 
fact." 

" I should think," said Frank Russel, "that things were 
divinely ordered because they were right." 

" No, my friend," replied Mr. Titmarsh, moderately ; 
" they are right because they are ordered, however con- 
trary they may appear to any of our poor notions of justice 
and humanity." And Mr. Titmarsh walked off. 

" Did you hear that ?" said Russel. " And they expect 
really to come it over us with stuff like that ! Now, if a 
fellow don't go to church Sundays, there 's a dreadful out- 
cry against him for not being religious ! And, if they get 
us there, that 's the kind of thing they put down our 
throats ! As if they were going to make practical men give 
in to such humbugs ! " 

And the Rev. Mr. Titmarsh went off in another direction, 
lamenting to a friend as follows : 

" How mournfully infidelity is increasing among the 
young men of our day ! They quote Scripture with the 
same freedom that they would a book of plays, and seem 
to treat it with no more reverence ! I believe it 's the 
want of catechetical instruction while they are children. 
There 's been a great falling back in the teaching of the 
Assembly's Catechism to children when they are young ! 
I shall get that point up at the General Assembly. If that 
were thoroughly committed when they are children, I think 
they would never doubt afterwards." 

Clayton went home and told his mother what he had 
done, and why. His father had not spoken to him on this 
subject ; and there was that about Judge Clayton which 
n 10 



108 THE LEGAL DECISION. 

made it difficult to introduce a topic, unless he signified 
an inclination to enter upon it. He was, as usual, calm, 
grave, and considerate, attending to e^ery duty with 
unwearying regularity. 

At the end of the second day, in the evening, Judge 
Clayton requested his son to walk in to his study. The in- 
terview was painful on both sides. 

" You are aware, my son," he said, "that the step you 
have taken is a very painful one to me. I hope that it was 
not taken precipitately, from any sudden impulse." 

"You may rest assured it was not," said Clayton. "I 
followed the deepest and most deliberate convictions of my 
conscience." 

" In that case, you could not do otherwise," replied Judge 
Clayton. "I have no criticisms to make. But will your 
conscience allow you to retain the position of a slave- 
holder ? " 

"I have already relinquished it," replied Clayton, "so 
far as my own intentions are concerned. I retain the 
legal relation of owner simply as a means of protecting my 
servants from the cruelties of the law, and of securing the 
opportunity to educate and elevate them." 

" And suppose this course brings you into conflict with 
the law of the state ? " said Judge Clayton. 

" If there is any reasonable prospect of having the law 
altered, I must endeavor to do that," said Clayton. 

"But," said Judge Clayton, "suppose the law is so 
rooted in the nature of the institution, that it cannot be 
repealed without uprooting the institution ? What then ? " 

" I say repeal the law, if it do uproot the institution," 
said Clayton. " Fiat justitia mat ccolum." 

" I supposed that would be your answer," said Judge 
Clayton, patiently. "That is undoubtedly the logical line 
of life. But you are aware that communities do not follow 
such lines ; your course, therefore, will place you in oppo 
eition to the community in which you live Your conscien 



THE LEGAL DECISION. 109 

tious convictions will cross self-interest, and the community 
will not allow you to carry them out." 

" Then," said Clayton, " I must, with myself and my ser- 
vants, remove to some region where I can do this." 

"That I supposed would be the result," said Judge Clay- 
ton. " And have you looked at the thing in all its relations 
and consequences ? " 

"I have," said Clayton. 

" You are about to form a connection with Miss Gordon," 
said Judge Clayton. "Have you considered how this will 
affect her ? " 

"Yes," said Clayton. "Miss Gordon fully sustains me 
in the course I have taken." 

"I have no more to say," said Judge Clayton. " Every 
man must act up to his sense of duty." 

There was a pause of a few moments, and Judge Clayton 
added : 

"You, perhaps, have seen the implication which your 
course throws upon us who still continue to practise the 
system and uphold the institution which you repudiate." 

"I meant no implications," said Clayton. 

" I presume not. But they result, logically, from your 
course," said his father. " I assure you, I have often myself 
pondered the question with reference to my own duties. 
My course is a sufficient evidence that I have not come to 
the same result. Human law is, at best, but an approxima- 
tion, a reflection of many of the ills of our nature. Imper- 
fect as it is, it is, on the whole, a blessing. The worst 
system is better than anarchy." 

" But, my father, why could you not have been a reformer 
of the system ? " 

" My son, no reform is possible, unless we are prepared 
to give up the institution of slavery. That will be the im- 
mediate result; and this is so realized by the instinct of 
self-preservation, which is unfailing in its accuracy, that 
every such proposition will be ignored, till there is a settled 
conviction in the community that the institution itself is a 



110 THE LEGAL DECISION. 

moral evil, and a sincere determination felt to be free from 
it. I see no tendency of things in that direction. That 
body of religious men of different denominations, called, 
par excellence, the church, exhibit a degree of moral apathy 
on this subject which is to me very surprising. It is with 
them that the training of the community, on which any 
such reform could be built, must commence ; and I see no 
symptoms of their undertaking it. The decisions and testi- 
monies of the great religious assemblies in the land, in my 
youth, were frequent. They have grown every year less 
and less decided ; and now the morality of the thing is 
openly defended in our pulpits, to my great disgust. I see 
no way but that the institution will be left to work itself 
out to its final result, which will, in the end, be ruinous to 
our country. I am not myself gifted with the talents of 
a reformer. My turn of mind fits me for the situation I 
hold. I cannot hope that I have done no harm in it ; but 
the good, I hope, will outweigh the evil. If you feel a 
call to enter on this course, fully understanding the difficul- 
ties and sacrifices it would probably involve, I would be the 
last one to throw the influence of my private wishes and 
feelings into the scale. We live here but a few years. It 
is of more consequence that we should do right, than that 
we should enjoy ourselves." 

Judge Clayton spoke this with more emotion than he 
usually exhibited, and Clayton was much touched. 

"My dear father," he said, putting Nina's note into his 
hand, "you made allusion to Miss Gordon. This note, 
which 1 received from her on the morning of your decision, 
will show you what her spirit is." 

Judge Clayton put on his spectacles, and read over the 
note deliberately, twice. He then handed it formally to his 
son, and remarked, with his usual brevity, 

" She will do ! " 



CHAPTER XI 



THE CLOUD BURSTS. 



The shadow of that awful cloud which had desolated other 
places now began to darken the boundaries of the plantation 
of Canema. No disease has ever more fully filled out the 
meaning 1 of those awful words of Scripture, " The pestilence 
that walketh in darkness." None has been more irregular, 
and apparently more perfectly capricious, in its movements. 
During the successive seasons that it has been epidemic in 
this country, it has seemed to have set at defiance the skill 
of the physicians. The system of medical tactics which 
has been wrought out by the painful experience of one 
season seems to be laughed to scorn by the varying type 
of the disease in the next. Certain sanitary laws and con- 
ditions would seem to be indispensable ; yet those who are 
familiar with it have had fearful experience how like a wolf 
it will sometimes leap the boundaries of the best and most 
carefully-guarded fold, and, spite of every caution and pro- 
tection, sweep all before it. 

Its course through towns and villages has been equally 
singular. Sometimes, descending like a cloud on a neigh- 
borhood, it will leave a single village or town untouched 
amidst the surrounding desolations, and long after, when 
health is restored to the whole neighborhood, come down 
suddenly on the omitted towns, as a ravaging army sends 
back a party for prey to some place which has been over- 
looked or forgotten. Sometimes, entering a house, in 
twenty-four hours it will take all who are in it. Sometimes 
it will ravage all the city except some one street or locality, 
ii. 10* 



112 THE CLOUD BURSTS. 

and then come upon that, while all else is spared. Its 
course, upon Southern plantations, was marked by similar 
capriciousness, and was made still more fatal by that pecu- 
liar nature of plantation life which withdraws the inmates 
so far from medical aid. 

When the first letters were received describing- the prog- 
ress of it in northern cities, Aunt Nesbit felt much uneasi- 
ness and alarm. It is remarkable with what tenacity people 
often will cling to life, whose enjoyments in it are so dull 
and low that a bystander would scarcely think them worth 
the struggle of preservation. When at length the dreaded 
news began to be heard from one point and another in their 
vicinity, Aunt Nesbit said, one day, to Nina, 

"Your cousins, the Gordons, in E., have written to us to 
leave the plantation, and come and spend some time with 
them, till the danger is over." 

" Why," said Nina, " do they think the cholera can't 
come there? " 

"Well," said Aunt Nesbit, "they have their family un- 
der most excellent regulations ; and, living in a town so, 
they are within call of a doctor, if anything happens." 

"Aunt," said Nina, "perhaps you had better go ; but I 
will stay with my people." 

" Why, don't you feel afraid, Nina ? " 

" No, aunt, I don't. Besides, I think it would be very 
selfish for me to live on the services of my people all my 
life, and then run away and leave them alone when a time 
of danger comes. The least I can do is to stay and take 
care of them." 

This conversation was overheard by Harry, who was 
standing with his back to them, on the veranda, near the 
parlor door where they were sitting. 

"Child," said Aunt Nesbit, "what do you suppose you 
can do ? You have n't any experience. Harry and Milly 
can do a great deal better than you can. I '11 leave Milly 
here. It 's our first duty to take care of our health." 

"No, aunt, I think there are some duties before that," 



THE CLOUD BURSTS. 113 

said Nina. " It 's true I have n't a great deal of strength, 
but I have courage ; and I know my going away would dis- 
courage our people, and fill them with fear ; and that, they 
say, predisposes to the disease. I shall get the carriage up, 
and go directly over to see the doctor, and get directions 
and medicines. I shall talk to our people, and teach them 
what to do, and see that it is done. And, when they see 
that I am calm, and not afraid, they will have courage. 
But, aunt, if you are afraid, I think you had better go. 
You are feeble ; you can't make much exertion ; and if you 
feel any safer or more comfortable, I think it would be best. 
I should like to have Milly stay, and she, Harry, and I, will 
be a board of health to the plantation." 

"Harry," she said, "if you'll get up the carriage, we '11 
go immediately." 

Again Harry felt the bitterness of his soul sweetened and 
tranquillized by the noble nature of her to whose hands the 
law had given the chain which bound him. Galling and in- 
tolerable as it would have been otherwise, he felt, when 
with her, that her service was perfect freedom. He had not 
said anything to Nina about the contents of the letter which 
he had received from his sister. He saw that it was an evil 
which she had no power over, and he shrank from annoying 
her with it. Nina supposed that his clouded and troubled 
aspect was caused wholly by the solicitude of responsi- 
bility. 

In the same carriage which conveyed her to the town 
sat Aunt Nesbit also, and her cap-boxes, whose importance 
even the fear of the cholera could not lessen in her eyes. 
■Nina found the physician quite aufait on the subject. He 
had been reading about miasma and animalcule, and he en- 
tertained Nina nearly half an hour with different theories as 
to the cause of the disease, and with the experiments which 
had been made in foreign hospitals. 

Among the various theories, there was one which ap- 
peared to be his particular pet ; and Nina could n't help 
thinking, as he stepped about so alertly, that he almost en- 



114 THE CLOUD BURSTS. 

joyed the prospect of putting his discoveries to the test. 
By dint, however, of very practical and positive questions, 
Nina drew from him all the valuable information which he 
had to give her ; and he wrote her a very full system of direc- 
tions, and put up a case of medicines for her, assuring her 
that he should be happy to attend in person if he had time. 

On the way home, Nina stopped at Uncle- John Gordon's 
plantation, and there had the first experience of the differ- 
ence between written directions for a supposed case, and 
the actual awful realities of the disease. Her Uncle John 
had been seized only half an hour before, in the most awful 
manner. The household was all in terror and confusion, 
and the shrieks and groans of agony which proceeded from 
his room were appalling. His wife, busy with the sufferer, 
did not perceive that the messengers who had been sent in 
haste for the doctor were wringing their hands in fruitless 
terror, running up and down the veranda, and doing 
nothing. 

"Harry," said Nina, "take out one of the carriage- 
horses, and ride quick for your life, and bring the doctor 
over here in a minute ! " 

In a few moments the thing was done, and Harry was 
out of sight. She then walked up to the distracted ser- 
vants, and commanded them, in a tone of authority, to cease 
their lamentations. Her resolute manner, and the quiet 
tone of voice which she preserved, acted as a sedative on 
their excited nerves. She banished all but two or three of 
the most reasonable from the house, and then went to the 
assistance of her aunt. 

Before long the doctor arrived. When he had been in 
the sick room a few moments, he came out to make some 
inquiries of Nina, and she could not help contrasting the 
appalled and confounded expression of his countenance 
with the dapper, consequential air, with which, only two 
hours before, he had been holding forth to her on animal- 
cule and miasma. 

" The disease," he said, "presented itself in an entirely 



THE CLOUD BURSTS. 115 

different aspect from what he had expected. The reme- 
dies," he said, " did not work as he anticipated ; the case 
was a peculiar one." 

Alas ! before the three months were over, poor doctor, 
you found many peculiar cases ! 

" Do you think you can save his life ? " said Nina. 

" Child, only God can save him!" said the physician; 
"nothing works right. " 

But why prolong the torture of that scene, or rehearse the 
struggles, groans, aud convulsions ? Nina, poor flowery 
child of seventeen summers, stood with the rest in mute 
despair. All was tried that could be done or thought of; 
but the disease, like some blind, deaf destroyer, marched 
on, turning neither to right nor left, till the cries and 
groans grew fainter, the convulsed muscles relaxed, and the 
strong, florid man lay in the last stages of that fearful col- 
lapse which in one hour shrivels the most healthy counte- 
nance and the firmest muscles to the shrunken and withered 
image of decrepid old age. When the breath had passed, 
and all was over, Nina could scarcely believe that that 
altered face and form, so withered and so worn, could have 
been her healthy and joyous uncle, and who never had ap- 
peared healthier or more joyous than on that morning. But, 
as a person passing under the foam and spray of Niagara 
clings with blind confidence to a guide whom he feels, but 
cannot see, Nina, in this awful hour, felt that she was not 
alone. The Redeemer, all-powerful over death and the 
grave, of whom she had been thinking so much, of late, 
seemed to her sensibly near. And it seemed to her as if a 
voice said to her, continually, " Fear not, for I am with thee. 
Be not dismayed, for I am thy God." 

' How calm you are, my child ! " said Aunt Maria to her. 
"I would n't have thought it was in you. I don't know 
what we should do without you." 

But now a frightful wail was heard. 

" 0, we are all dying ! we are all going ! 0, missis, 



116 THE CLOUD BURSTS. 

come quick ! Peter has got it ! 0, daddy has got it ! 0, 
my child ! my child ! " 

And the doctor, exhausted as he was by the surprise and 
excitement of this case, began flying from one to another 
of the cabins, in the greatest haste. Two or three of the 
house-servants also seemed to be struck in the same mo- 
ment, and only the calmness and courage which Nina and 
her aunt maintained prevented a general abandonment to 
panic. Nina possessed that fine, elastic temperament which, 
with the appearance of extreme delicacy, possesses great 
powers of endurance. The perfect calmness which she felt 
enabled her to bring all her faculties to bear on the 
emergency. 

" My good aunty, you must n't be afraid ! Bring out your 
religion ; trust in God," she said, to the cook, who was 
wringing her hands in terror. " Remember your religion ; 
sing some of your hymns, and do your duty to the sick." 

There is a magic power in the cheerful tone of courage, 
and Nina succeeded in rallying the well ones to take care 
of the sick ; but now came a messenger, in hot haste, to 
say that the cholera had broken out on the plantation at 
home. 

" Well, Harry," said Nina, with a face pale, yet unmoved, 
" our duty calls us away." 

And, accompanied by the weary physician, they prepared 
to go back to Canema. Before they had proceeded far, a 
man met them on horseback. 

" Is Dr. Butler with you ? " 

" Yes," said Nina, putting her head out of the car- 
riage. 

" 0, doctor, I've been riding all over the country after 
you. You must come back to town this minute ! Judge 
Peters is dying ! I 'm afraid he is dead before this time, 
and there 's a dozen more cases right in that street. Here, 
get on to my horse, and ride for your life." 

The doctor hastily sprang from the carriage, and mounted 
the horse ; then, stopping a moment, he cast a look of 



THE CLOUD BURSTS. 117 

good-natured pity on the sweet, pale face that was leaning 
out of the carriage window. 

" My poor child," he said, " I can't bear to leave you. 
Who will help you?" 

" God," said Nina ; " I am not afraid ! " 

"Come, come," said the man, " do hurry ! " And, with 
one hasty glance more, he was gone. 

" Now, Harry," said Nina, " everything depends upon 
our keeping up our courage and our strength. We shall 
have no physician. We must just do the best we can. After 
all, it is our Lord Jesus that has the keys of death, and he 
loved us and died for us. He will certainly be with us." 

" 0, Miss Nina, you are an angel ! " said Harry, who felt 
at that moment as if he could have worshipped her. 

Arrived at home, Nina found a scene of terror and confu- 
sion similar to that she had already witnessed. Old Hun- 
dred lay dead in his cabin, and the lamenting crowd, gathering 
round, were yielding to the full tide of fear and excitement, 
which predisposed them to the same fate. Nina rode up 
immediately to the group. She spoke to them calmly ; she 
silenced their outcries, and bade them obey her. 

" If you wish, all of you, to die," she said, " this is the 
way towards it ; but, if you '11 keep quiet and calm, and do 
what ought to be done, your lives may be saved. Harry 
and I have got medicines — we understand what to do. 
You must follow our directions exactly." 

Nina immediately went to the house, and instructed Milly, 
Aunt Rose, and two or three of the elderly women, in the 
duties to be done. Milly rose up, in this hour of terror, 
with all the fortitude inspired by her strong nature. 

" Bress de Lord," she said, "for his grace to you, chile ! 
De Lord is a shield. He ; s been wid us in six troubles, and 
he ? 11 be wid us in seven. We can sing in de swellings of 
Jordan." 

Harry, meanwhile, was associating to himself a band of 
the most reliable men on the place, and endeavoring in the 
same manner to organize them for action. A messenger 



118 THE CLOUD BUESTS. 

was despatched immediately to the neighboring town for 
unlimited quantities of the most necessary medicines and 
stimulants. The plantation was districted of!', and placed 
under the care of leaders, who held communication with 
Harry. In the course of two or three hours, the appalling 
scene of distress and confusion was reduced to the resolute 
and orderly condition of a well-managed hospital. 

Milly walked the rounds in every direction, appealing to 
the religious sensibilities of the people, and singing hymns 
of trust and confidence. She possessed a peculiar voice, 
suited to her large development of physical frame, almost 
as deep as a man's bass, with the rich softness of a feminine 
tone ; and Nina could now and then distinguish, as she was 
moving about the house or grounds, that triumphant tone, 
singing, 

« " God is my sun, 

And he my shade, 

To guard my head, 
By night' or noon. 
Hast thou not given thy word 

To save my soul from death ? 
And I can trust my Lord, 

To keep my mortal breath. 
I'll go and come, 

Nor fear to die, 

Till from on high 
Thou call me home." 

The house that night presented the aspect of a beleaguered 
garrison. Nina and Milly had thrown open all the cham- 
bers ; and such as were peculiarly exposed to the disease, 
by delicacy of organization or tremulousness of nervous 
system, were allowed to take shelter there. 

" Now, chile," said Milly, when all the arrangements 
had been made, " you jes lie down and go to sleep in yer 
own room. I see how 't is with you ; de spirit is willing, but 
de flesh is weak. Chile, dere is n't much of you, but dere 
won't nothing go widout you. So, you take care of yerself 
first. Never you be 'fraid 1 De people 's quiet now, and de 



THE CLOUD BUESTS. 119 

sick ones is ben took care of, and do folks is all doing- de 
best dey can. So, now, you try and get some sleep ; 'cause 
if you goes we shall all go." 

Accordingly Nina retired to her room, but before she lay 
down she wrote to Clayton : 

" We are all in affliction here, my dear friend. Poor 
Uncle John died this morning of the cholera. I had been 

to E to see a doctor and provide medicines. When I 

came back I thought I would call a few moments at the 
house, and I found a perfect scene of horror. Poor uncle 
died, and there are a great many sick on the place now ; 
and while I was thinking" that I would stay and help aunt, 
a messenger came in all haste, saying- that the disease had 
broken out on our place at home. 

" We were bringing the doctor with us in our carriage, 

when we met a man riding- full speed from E , who told 

us that Judge Peters was dying, and a g-reat many others 
were sick on the same street. When we came home we 
found the poor old coachman dead, and the people in the 
greatest consternation. It took us some time to tranquillize 
them and to produce order, but that is now done. Our 
house is full of the sick and the fearful ones. Milly and 
Harry are firm and active, and inspire the rest with courage. 
About twenty are taken with the disease, but not as yet in 
a violent way. In this awful hour I feel a strange peace, 
which the Bible truly says ' passeth all understanding.' 
I see, now, that though the world and all that is in it should 
perish, ' Christ can give us a beautiful immortal life.' I 
write to you because, perhaps, this may be the only oppor- 
tunity. If I die, do not mourn for me, but thank God, who 
giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. But, 
then, I trust, I shall not die. I hope to live in this world, 
which is more than ever beautiful to me. Life has never 
been so valuable and dear as since I have known you. Yet 
I have such trust in the love of my Redeemer, that, if he 
were to ask me to lay i t down, I could do it almost without 
n. 11 



120 THE CLOUD BUESTS. 

a sigh. I would follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. 
Perhaps the same dreadful evil is around you, — perhaps at 
Magnolia Grove. I will not be selfish in calling you here, 
if Anne needs you more. Perhaps she has not such reliable 
help as Harry and Milly are to me. So do not fear, and do 
not leave any duty for me. Our Father loves us, and will 
do nothing amiss. Milly walks about the entries singing. 
I love to hear her sing, she sings in such a grand, triumph- 
ant tone. Hark, I hear her now ! 

' I '11 go and come, 
Nor fear to die, 
Till from on high 
Thou call me home.' 

" I shall write you every mail, now, till we are better. 
" Living or dying, ever your own 

" Nina." 

After writing this, Nina laid down and slept — slept all 
night as quietly as if death and disease were not hanging 
over her head. In the morning she rose and dressed her- 
self, and Milly, with anxious care, brought to her room some 
warm coffee and crackers, which she insisted on her taking 
before she left her apartment. 

" How are they all, Milly? " said Nina. 

" Well, chile," said Milly, " do midnight cry has been 
heard among us. Aunt Rose is gone ; and Big Sam, and 
Jack, and Sally, dey 's all gone ; but de people is all 
more quiet, love, and dey 's determined to stand it out ! " 

" How is Harry ? " said Nina, in a tremulous voice. 

" He is n't sick ; he has been up all night working over 
de sick, but he keeps up good heart. De older ones is 
going to have a little prayer-meeting after breakfast, as a 
sort of funeral to dem dat 's dead ; and, perhaps, Miss 
Nina, you'd read us a chapter." 

" Certainly I will," said Nina. 

It was yet an early hour, when ? large circle of family 



THE CLOUD BURSTS. 121 

and plantation hands gathered together in the pleasant, 
open saloon, which we have so often described. The day 
was a beautiful one ; the leaves and shrubbery round the 
veranda moist and tremulous with the glittering freshness 
of morning dew. There was a murmur of tenderness and 
admiration as Nina, in a white morning-wrapper, and a 
cheek as white, came into the room. 

" Sit down, all my friends," she said, "sit down," look- 
ing at some of the plantation-men, who seemed to be diffi- 
dent about taking the sofa, which was behind them ; "it's 
no time for ceremony now. We are standing on the brink 
of the grave, where all are equal. I 'm glad to see you 
so calm and so brave. I hope your trust is in the Saviour, 
who gives us the victory over death. Sing," she said. 
Hilly began the well-known hymn : 

" And must this feeble body fail, 
And must it faint and die ? 
My soul shall quit this gloomy vale, 
And soar to realms on high ; 

" Shall join the disembodied saints, 
And find its long-sought rest ; 
That only rest for which it pants, 
On the Redeemer's breast." 

Every voice joined, and the words rose triumphant from 
the very gates of the grave. When the singing was over, 
Nina, in a tremulous voice, which grew clearer as she went 
on, read the undaunted words of the ancient psalm : 

" He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say 
of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress. My God, in 
him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the 
snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence, ne 
shall cover thee with his feathers. Under his wings shalt 
thou trust. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by 
night, nor for the arrow that fiieth by day, nor for the pesti- 
lence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that 



122 THE CLOUD BURSTS. 

wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall by thy side, and 
ten thousand at thy right hand ; but it shall not come nigh 
thee. He shall give his angels charge over thee to keep 
thee in all thy ways." 

" It is possible," said Nina, " that we may, some of us, 
be called away. But, to those that love Christ, there is no 
fear in death. It is only going home to our Father. Keep 
up courage, then ! " 

In all cases like this, the first shock brings with it more 
terror than any which succeeds. The mind can become 
familiar with anything, even with the prospect of danger 
and death, so that it can appear to be an ordinary condition 
of existence. Everything proceeded calmly on the planta- 
tion ; and all, stimulated b}' the example of their young 
mistress, seemed determined to meet the exigency firmly 
and faithfully. In the afternoon of the second day, as Nina 
was sitting in the door, she observed the wagon of Uncle 
Tiff making its way up the avenue ; and, with her usual 
impulsiveness, ran down to meet her humble friend. 

" 0, Tiff, how do you do, in these dreadful times ! " 

" 0, Miss Nina." said the faithful creature, removing his 
hat, with habitual politeness, " ef yer please, I 's brought 
do baby here, 'cause it's drefful sick, and I 's been doing all 
I could for him, and he don't get no better. Andl's 
brought Miss Fanny and Teddy, 'cause I 's 'fraid to leave 
'em, 'cause I see a man yesterday, and he tell me dey was 
dying eberywhar on all de places round." 

" Well," said Nina, " you have come to a sorrowful place, 
for they are dying here, too ! But, if you feel any safer 
here, you and the children may stay, and we '11 do for you 
just as we do for each other. Give me the baby, while you 
get out. It 's asleep, is n't it ? " 

"Yes, Miss Nina, it's 'sleep pretty much all de time, 
now." 

Nina carried ife up the steps, and put it into the arms of 
Molly. 

" It's sleeping nicely," she said. 



THE CLOUD BURSTS. 123 

" Ah, honey ! " said Milly, " it '11 neber wake up out of 
dat ar ! Dat ar sleep an't de good kind ! " 

" Well," said Nina, " we '11 help him take care of it, and 
we '11 make room for him and the children, Milly ; because 
we have medicines and directions, and they have nothing 
out there." 

So Tiff and his family took shelter in the general fortress. 
Towards evening, the baby died. Tiff held it in his arms 
to the very last ; and it was with difficulty that Nina and 
Milly could persuade him that the little flickering breath 
was gone forever. When forced to admit it, he seemed for 
a few moments perfectly inconsolable. Nina quietly opened 
her Testament, and read to him : 

" And they brought little children unto him, that he 
should touch them ; and his disciples rebuked those that 
brought them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children to 
come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the king- 
dom of heaven." 

" Bressed Lord ! " said Tiff, "I'll gib him up, I will ! 1 
won't hold out no longer ! I won't forbid him to go, if it 
does break my old heart ! Laws, we 's drefful selfish ! But 
de por little ting, he was getting so pretty ! " 
n. 11* 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE VOICE IN THE WILDEENESS. 

Clayton was quietly sitting in his law-office, looking over 
and arranging some papers necessary to closing his busi- 
ness. A colored boy brought in letters from the mail. He 
looked them over rapidly ; and, selecting one, read it with 
great agitation and impatience. Immediately he started, 
with the open letter crushed in his hand, seized his hat, 
and rushed to the nearest livery-stable. 

" Give me the fastest horse you have — one that can 
travel night and day ! " he said. "I must ride for life or 
death ! ;; 

And half an hour more saw Clayton in full speed on the 
road. By the slow, uncertain, and ill-managed mail-route, 
it would have taken three days to reach Canema. Clayton 
hoped, by straining every nerve, to reach there in twenty- 
four hours. He pushed forward, keeping the animal at the 
top of his speed ; and, at the first stage-stand, changed him 
for a fresh one. And thus proceeding along, he found him- 
self, at three o'clock of the next morning, in the woods 
about fifteen miles from Canema. The strong tension of the 
nervous system, which had upheld him insensible to fatigue 
until this point, was beginning slightly to subside. All 
night he had ridden through the loneliness of pine-forests, 
with no eye looking down on him save the twinkling, mys- 
terious stars. At the last place where he had sought to 
obtain horses, everything had been horror and confusion. 
Three were lying dead in the house, and another was dying. 
All along upon the route, at every stopping-place, the air 



THE VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS. 125 

had seemed to be filled with flying rumors and exaggerated 
reports of fear and death. As soon as he began to perceive 
that he was approaching the plantation, he became sensible 
of that shuddering dread which all of us may remember to 
have had, in slight degrees, in returning home after a long 
absence, under a vague expectation of misfortune, to which 
the mind can set no definite limits. When it was yet 
scarcely light enough to see, he passed by the cottage of 
Old Tiff. A strange impulse prompted him to stop and 
make some inquiries there, before he pushed on to the 
plantation. But, as he rode up, he saw the gate standing 
ajar, the door of the house left open ; and, after repeated 
callings, receiving no answer, he alighted, and, leading his 
horse behind him, looked into the door. The gloaming star- 
light was just sufficient to show him that all was desolate. 
Somehow this seemed to him like an evil omen. As he was 
mounting his horse, preparing to ride away, a grand and 
powerful voice rose from the obscurity of the woods before 
him, singing, in a majestic, minor-keyed tune, these words : 

" Throned on a cloud our God shall como, 
Bright flames prepare his way ; 
Thunder and darkness, fire and storm, 
Lead on the dreadful day ! " 

Wearied with his night ride, his nervous sj^stem strained 
to the last point of tension by the fearful images which 
filled his mind, it is not surprising that these sounds should 
have thrilled through the hearer with even a superstitious 
power. And Clayton felt a singular excitement, as, under 
the dim arcade of the pine-trees, he saw a dark figure ap- 
proaching. He seemed to be marching with a regular tread, 
keeping time to the mournful music which he sung. 

" Who are you ? " called Clayton, making an effort to 
recall his manhood. 

"I?" replied the figure, " I am the voice of one crying 
in the wilderness ! I am a sign unto this people of the 
judgment of the Lord ! " 



126 THE VOICE IN THE WILDEKNESS. 

Our readers murt remember the strange dimness of the 
hour, the wildnese of the place and circumstances, and the 
singular quality of the tone in which the figure spoke. 
Clayton hesitated a moment, and the speaker went on : 

" I saw the Lord coming with ten thousand of his saints ! 
Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went 
forth at his feet ! Thy bow is made quite naked, God, 
according to the oaths of the tribes ! I saw the tents of 
Cushan in affliction, and the curtains of the land of Midian 
did tremble ! " 

Pondering in his mind what this wild style of address 
might mean, Clayton rode slowly onward. And the man, 
for such he appeared to be, came out of the shadows of the 
wood and stood directly in his path, raising his hand with a 
commanding gesture. 

"I know whom you seek/' he said; "but it shall not 
be given you ; for the star, which is called wormwood, hath 
fallen, and the time of the dead is come, that they shall 
be judged ! Behold, there sitteth on the white cloud one 
like the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, 
and in his hand a sharp sickle! 77 

Then, waving his hand above his head, with a gesture of 
wild excitement, he shouted : 

" Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of 
the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe ! Behold, 
the wine-press shall be trodden without the city, and there 
shall be blood even to the horses' bridles ! Woe, woe, 
woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the 
trumpets of the other angels, which are yet to sound ! " 

The fearful words pealed through the dim aisles of the 
forest like the curse of some destroying angel. After a 
pause, the speaker resumed, in a lower and more plaintive 
tone : 

" Weep ye not for the dead ! neither bewail her ! Be- 
hold, the Lamb standeth on Mount Zion, and with him a 
hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's 
name written on their foreheads. These are they which 



THE VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS. 127 

follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth ; and in their mouth 
is found no guile, for they are without fault before the 
throne of God. Behold the angel having the seal of God is 
gone forth, and she shall be sealed in her forehead unto the 
Lamb." 

The figure turned away slowly, singing, as he made his 
way through the forest, in the same weird and funereal 
accents : but this time the song was a wild, plaintive 
sound, like the tolling of a heavy bell : 

" Ding dong ! dead and gone ! 
Farewell, father ! 
Bury me in Egypt's land, 

By my dear mother ! 
Ding, dong ! ding, dong ! 
Dead and gone ! " 

Clayton, as he slowly wound his way along the unfre- 
quented path, felt a dim, brooding sense of mystery and ter- 
ror creeping over him. The tones of the voice, and the 
wild style of the speaker, recalled the strange incident of 
the camp-meeting : and, though he endeavored strenuously 
to reason with himself that probably some wild and excited 
fanatic, made still more frantic by the presence of death and 
destruction all around, was the author of these fearful de- 
nunciations, still he could not help a certain weight of fear- 
ful foreboding. 

This life may be truly called a haunted house, built as it 
is on the very confines of the land of darkness and the 
shadow of death. A thousand living fibres connect us with 
the unknown and unseen state ; and the strongest hearts, 
which never stand still for any mortal terror, have some- 
times hushed their very beating at a breath of a whisper 
from within the veil. Perhaps the most resolute unbeliever 
in spiritual things has hours of which he would be ashamed 
to tell, when he, too, yields to the powers of those awful 
affinities which bind us to that unknown realm. 

It is not surprising that Clayton, in spite of himself, 



128 THE VOICE IN THE WILDEENESS. 

should have felt like one mysteriously warned. It was a 
relief to him when the dusky dimness of the solemn dawn 
was pierced by long shafts of light from the rising sun, and 
the day broke gladsome and jubilant, as if sorrow, sighing, 
and death, were a dream of the night. During the whole 
prevalence of this fearful curse, it was strange to witness 
the unaltered regularity, splendor, and beauty, with which 
the movements of the natural world went on. Amid fears, 
and dying groans, and wailings, and sobs, and broken 
hearts, the sun rose and set in splendor, the dews twinkled, 
and twilight folded her purple veil heavy with stars ; birds 
sung, waters danced and warbled, flowers bloomed, and 
everything in nature was abundant, and festive, and joyous. 

When Clayton entered the boundaries of the plantation, 
he inquired eagerly of the first person he met for the health 
of its mistress. 

"Thank God, she is yet alive ! " said he. "It was but 
a dream, after all ! " 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE EYEXIXG STAR. 

The mails in the State of North Carolina, like the pruden- 
tial arrangements in the slave states generally, were very 
little to be depended upon ; and therefore a week had 
elapsed after the mailing of Nina's first letter, describing the 
danger of her condition, before it was received by Clayton. 
During that time the fury of the shock which had struck the 
plantation appeared to have abated ; and, while on some 
estates in the vicinity it was yet on the increase, the inhab- 
itants of Canema began to hope that the awful cloud was 
departing from them. It was true that many were still ail- 
ing ; but there were no new cases, and the disease in tho 
case of those who were ill appeared to be yielding to nurs- 
ing and remedies. 

Nina had risen in the morning early, as her custom had 
been since the sickness, and gone the rounds, to inquire for 
the health of her people. Eeturned, a little fatigued, she 
was sitting in the veranda, under the shadow of one of the 
pillar-roses, enjoying the cool freshness of the morning. 
Suddenly the tramp of horse's feet was heard, and, looking, 
she saw Clayton coming up the avenue. There seemed but 
a dizzy, confused moment, before his horse's bridle was 
thrown to the winds, and he was up the steps, holding her 
in his arms. 

" 0, you are here yet, my rose, my bride, my lamb ! 
God is merciful ! This is too much ! 0, I thought you 
were gone ! " 

11 No, dear, not yet," said Nina. " God has been with 



130 THE EVENING STAE. 

us. We have lost a great many ; but God has spared me 
to you." 

" Are you really well ? " said Clayton, holding- her off, 
and looking - at her. " You look pale, my little rose ! " 

" That 's not wonderful," said Nina ; " I 've had a great 
deal to make me look pale ; but I am very well. I have 
been well through it all — never in better health — and, it 
seems strange to say it, but never happier. I have felt so 
peaceful, so sure of God's love ! " 

"Do you know," said Clayton, "that that peace alarms 
me — that strange, unearthly happiness ? It seems so like 
what is given to dying people." 

"No," said Nina, "I think that when we have no one 
but our Father to lean on, he comes nearer than he does any 
other time ; and that is the secret of this happiness. But, 
come, — you look wofully tired ; have you been riding all 
night ? " 

" Yes, ever since yesterday morning at nine o'clock. I 
have ridden down four horses to get to you. Only think, 
I did n't get your letter till a week after it was dated ! " 

" Well, perhaps that was the best," said Nina ; "because 
I have heard them say that anybody coming suddenly and 
unprepared in the epidemic, when it is in full force, is 
almost sure to be taken by it immediately. But you must 
let me take care of you. Don't you know that 1 7 m mistress 
of the fortress here — commander-in-chief and head-physi- 
cian ? I shall order you to your room immediately, and 
Milly shall bring you up some coffee, and then you must 
have some sleep. You can see with your eyes, now, that 
we are all sala, and there 's nothing to hinder your resting 
Come, let me lead you off, like a captive." 

Released from the pressure of overwhelming fear, Clayton 
began now to feel the reaction of the bodily and mental 
straining which he had been enduring for the last twenty- 
four hours, and therefore he willingly yielded himself to 
the directions of his little sovereign. Retired to his room, 
after taking his coffee, which was served by Milly, he fell 



THE EVENING STAR. 131 

into a deep and tranquil sleep, which lasted till some timo 
in the afternoon. At first, overcome by fatigue, he slept 
without dreaming ; but, when the first weariness was past, 
the excitement of the nervous system, under which he had 
been laboring, began to color his dreams with vague and 
tumultuous images. He thought that he was again with 
Nina at Magnolia Grove, and that the servants were pass- 
ing around in procession, throwing flowers at their feet ; 
but the wreath of orange-blossoms which fell in Nina's lap 
was tied with black crape. But she took it up, laughing-, 
threw the crape away, and put the wreath on her head, and 
he heard the chorus singing, 

" 0, de North Carolina rose ! 
0, de North Carolina rose ! " 

And then the sound seemed to change to one of lamenta- 
tion, and the floral procession seemed to be a funeral, and a 
deep, melancholy voice, like the one he had heard in the 
woods in the morning, sang, 

" Weep, for the rose is withered ! 
The North Carolina rose ! " 

He struggled heavily in his sleep, and, at last waking, 
sat up and looked about him. The rays of the evening sun 
were shining on the tree-tops of the distant avenue, and 
Nina was singing on the veranda below. He listened, and 
the sound floated up like a rose-leaf cai'ried on a breeze : 

" The summer hath its heavy cloud, 

The rose-leaf must fall, 
But in our home joy wears no shroud — 

Never doth it pall ! 
Each new morning ray 
Leaves no sigh for yesterday — 
No smile passed away 

Would we recall ! " 

The tune was a favorite melody, which has found much 
ii, 12 



132 THE EVENING STAE. 

favor with the popular ear, and bore the title of " The Hin- 
doo Dancing-Girl's Song - ; " and is, perhaps, a fragment of 
one of those mystical songs in which oriental literature 
abounds, in which the joy and reunion of earthly love are 
told in shadowy, symbolic resemblance to the everlasting 
union of the blessed above. It had a wild, dreamy, sooth- 
ing power, as verse after verse came floating in, like white 
doves from paradise, as if they had borne healing on their 
wings : 

" Then haste to the happy land, 

Where sorrow is unknown ; 
But first in a joyous band, 

I '11 make thee my own. 
Haste, haste, fly with me 
Where love's banquet waits for thee ; 
Thine all its sweets shall be, 

Thine, thine, alone ! " ■ 

A low tap at his door at last roused him. The door was 
partly opened, and a little hand threw in a half-opened spray 
of monthly-rosebuds. 

"There 's something to remind you that you are yet in 
the body ! " said a voice in the entry. " If you are rested, 
I '11 let you come clown, now." 

And Clayton heard the light footsteps tripping down the 
stairs. He roused himself, and, after some little attention 
to his toilet, appeared on the veranda. 

" Tea has been waiting for some time," said Nina. "I 
thought I 'd give you a hint." 

" I was lying very happy, hearing you sing," said Clay- 
ton. " You may sing me that song again." 

" Was I singing ? " said Nina ; " why, I did n't know it ! 
I believe that 's my way of thinking, sometimes. I '11 sing 
to you again, after tea. I like to sing." 

After tea they were sitting again in the veranda, and the 
whole heavens were one rosy flush of filmy clouds. 

"How beautiful!" said Nina. "It seems to me I 've 
enjoyed these things, this summer, as I never have be- 



THE EVENING STAE. 133 

fore. It seemed as if I felt an influence from them going 
through me, and filling me, as the light does those clouds." 
And, as she stood looking- up into the sky, she began 
singing again the words that Clayton had heard before : 

" I am come from the happy land, 

Where sorrow is unknown ; 
I have parted a joyous band, 

To make thee mine own ! 
Haste, haste, fly with me, 
Where lore's banquet waits for thee ; 
Thine all its sweets shall be — 

Thine, thine, alone ! 

" The summer has its heavy cloud, 
The rose-leaf must fall — " 

She stopped her singing suddenly, left the veranda, and 
went into the house. 

" Do you want anything ? " said Clayton. 

" Nothing/ 7 said she, hurriedly. " I '11 be back in a mo- 
ment." 

Clayton watched, and saw her go to a closet in which 
the medicines and cordials were kept, and take something 
from a glass. He gave a start of alarm. 

" You are not ill, are you ? " he said, fearfully, as she 
returned. 

" 0, no ; only a little faint. We have become so prudent, 
you know, that if we feel the least beginning of any disa- 
greeable sensation, we take something at once. I have felt 
this faintness quite often. It isn't much." 

Clayton put his arm around her, and looked at her with a 
vague yearning of fear and admiration. 

"You look so like a spirit," he said, "that I must hold 
you." 

" Do you think I 've got a pair of hidden wings ? " she 
said, smiling, and looking gayly in his face. 

"I am afraid so!" he said. "Do you feel cpiite well, 
now ? " 



134 THE EVENING STAE. 

" Yes, I believe so. Only, perhaps, we had better sit down. 
I think, perhaps, it is the reaction of so much excitement, 
makes me feel rather tired." 

Clayton seated her on the settee by the door, still keep- 
ing his arm anxiously around her. In a few moments she 
drooped her head wearily on his shoulder. 

" You are ill! " he said, in tones of alarm. 

" No, no ! I feel very well — only a little faint and tired. 
It seems to me it is getting a little cold here, isn't it ? " 
she said, with a slight shiver. 

Clayton took her up in his arms, without speaking, carried 
her in and laid her on the sofa, then rang for Harry and 
Milly. 

" Get a horse, instantly," he said to Harry, as soon as 
he appeared, " and go for a doctor ! " 

" There 's no use in sending," said Nina ; " he is driven 
to death, and can't come. Besides, there 's nothing the 
matter with me, only I am a little tired and cold. Shut the 
doors and windows, and cover me up. No, no, don't take 
me up stairs ! I like to lie here ; just put a shawl over me, 
that 7 s all. I am thirsty, — give me some water ! " 

The fearful and mysterious disease, which was then in the 
ascendant, has many forms of approach and development. 
One, and the most deadly, is that which takes place when a 
person has so long and gradually imbibed the fatal poison of 
an infected atmosphere, that the resisting powers of nature 
have been insidiously and quietly subdued, so that the sub- 
ject sinks under it, without any violent outward symptom, 
by a quiet and certain yielding of the vital powers, such 
as has been likened to the bleeding to death by an internal 
wound. In this case, before an hour had passed, though 
none of the violent and distressing symptoms of the disease 
appeared, it became evident that the seal of death was set 
on that fair young brow. A messenger had been des- 
patched, riding with the desperate speed which love and 
fear can give, but Harry remained in attendance. 

" Nothing is the matter with me — nothing is the matter," 



THE EVENING STAE. 135 

she said, " except fatigue, and this change in the weather. 
If I only had more over me ! and, perhaps, you had better 
give me a little brandy, or some such thing - . This is water 
is n't it, that you have been giving me ? " 

Alas ! it was the strongest brandy ; but there was no taste, 
and the hartshorn that they were holding had no smell. 
And there was no change in the weather ; it was only the 
creeping deadness, affecting the whole outer and inner 
membrane of the system. Yet still her voice remained 
clear, though her mind occasionally wandered. 

There is a strange impulse, which sometimes comes in the 
restlessness and distress of dissolving nature, to sing ; and, 
as she lay with her eyes closed, apparently in a sort of trance, 
she would sing, over and over again, the verse of the song 
which she was singing when the blow of the unseen destroyer 
first struck her. 

" The summer hath its heavy cloud, 
The rose-leaf must fall ; 
But in our land joy wears no shroud, 
Never doth it p 11." 

- At last she opened her eyes, aui, seeing the agony of all 
around, the truth seemed to come to her. 

" I think I 'm called ! " she said, " 0, I 'm so sorry for 
you all ! Don't grieve so ; my Father loves me so well, — he 
cannot spare me any longer. He wants me to come to him. 
That 's all — don't grieve so. It's home I'm going to — 
home! 'T will be only a little while, and you '11 come too, 
all of you. You are satisfied, are you not, Edward ? " 

And again she relapsed into the dreamy trance, and sang, 
in that strange, sweet voice, so low, so weak, 

" In our land joy wears no shroud, 
Never doth it pall." 

Clayton, — what did he ? What could he do ? What have 
any of us done, who have sat holding in our arms a deal 
form, from which the soul was passing — the soul for which, 
ii. 12* 



136 THE EVENING STAR. 

gladly we would have given our own in exchange ! When 
we have felt it going with inconceivable rapidity from us ; 
and we, ignorant and blind, vainly striving, with this and 
that, to arrest the inevitable doom, feeling every moment 
that some other thing might be. done to save, which is 
not done, and that that which we are doing may be only 
hastening the course of the destroyer ! 0, those awful, 
agonized moments, when we watch the clock, and no phy- 
sician comes, and every stroke of the pendulum is like the 
approaching step of death ! 0, is there anything in heaven 
or earth for the despair of such hours ? 

Not a moment was lost by the three around that dying 
bed, chafing those cold limbs, administering the stimulants 
which the dead, exhausted system no longer felt. 

" She does n't suffer ! Thank God, at any rate, for that ! " 
said Clayton, as he knelt over her in anguish. 

A beautiful smile passed over her face, as she opened her 
eyes and looked on them all, and said, 

" No, my poor friends, I don't suffer. I ; m come to the 
land where they never guff" c. I 'm only so sorry for you ! 
Edward," she said to hir , " do you remember what you 
said to me once ? — It has come now. You must bear it 
like a man. God calls you to some work — don't shrink 
from it. You are baptized with fire. It all lasts only a little 
while. It will be over soon, very soon ! Edward, take 
care of my poor people. Tell Tom to be kind to them. 
My poor, faithful, good Harry! ! I 'm going so fast! " 

The voice sunk into a whispering sigh. Life now seemed 
to have retreated to the citadel of the brain. She lay 
apparently in the last sleep, when the footsteps of the 
doctor were heard on the veranda. There was a general 
spring to the door, and Dr. Butler entered, pale, haggard, 
and worn, from constant exertion and loss of rest. 

He did not say in words that there was no hope, but 
his first dejected look said it but too plainly. 

She moved her head a little, like one who is asleep, un- 
easily upon her pillow, opened her eyes once more, and said. 



THE EVENING STAR. 137 

" Good-by ! I will arise and go to my Father ! " 
The gentle breath gradually became fainter and fainter, — 
all hope was over ! The night walked on with silent and 
solemn footsteps — soft showers fell without, murmuring 
upon the leaves — within, ail was still as death! 

" They watched her breathing through the night, 
Her breathing soft and low, 
As in her breast the wave of life 
Kept heaving to and fro. 

" So silently they seemed to speak, 
So slowly moved about, 
As they had lent her half their powers 
To eke her living out. 

"Their very hopes belied their fears, 
Their fears their hopes belied — 
They thought her dying when she slept, 
And sleeping when she died. 

"For when the morn came dim and sad, 
And chill with early showers, 
Her quiet eyelids closed — she had 
Another morn than ours." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE TIE BREAKS. 

Clayton remained at Canema several days after the 
funeral. He had been much affected by the last charge 
given him by Nina, that he should care for her people ; and 
the scene of distress which he witnessed among them, at her 
death, added to the strength of his desire to be of service 
to them. 

He spent some time in looking over and arranging Nina's 
papers. He sealed up the letters of her different friends, 
and directed them in order to be returned to the writers, 
causing Harry to add to each a memorandum of the time of 
her death. His heart sunk heavily when he reflected how 
little it was possible for any one to do for servants left in 
the uncontrolled power of a man like Tom Gordon. The 
awful words of his father's decision, with regard to the 
power of the master, never seemed so dreadful as now, 
when he was to see this unlimited authority passed into the 
hands of one whose passions were his only law. He re- 
called, too, what Nina had said of the special bitterness 
existing between Tom and Harry ; and his heart almost 
failed him when he recollected that the very step which 
Nina, in her generosity, had taken to save Lisette from his 
lawlessness, had been the means of placing her, without 
remedy, under his power. Under the circumstances, he 
could not but admire the calmness and firmness with which 
Harry still continued to discharge his duties to the estate ; 
visiting those who were still ailing, and doing his best to 
prevent their sinking into a panic which might predispose 



THE TIE BREAKS. 139 

to another attack of disease. Recollecting that Xina had 
said something of some kind of a contract, by which 
Harry's freedom was to be secured in case of her death, he 
resolved to speak with him on the subject. As they were 
together in the library, looking over the papers, Clayton 
said to him : 

" Harry, is there not some kind of contract, or under- 
standing, with the guardians of the estate, by which your 
liberty was secured in case of the death of your mistress ? " 

"Yes," said Harry, "there is such a paper. I was to 
have my freedom on paying a certain sum, which is all paid 
into five hundred dollars." 

" I will advance you that money," said Clayton, unhesi- 
tatingly, " if that is all that is necessary. Let me see the 
paper." 

Harry produced it, and Clayton looked it over. It was 
a regular contract, drawn in proper form, and with no 
circumstance wanting to give it validity. Clayton, how- 
ever, knew enough of the law which regulates the condition 
in which Harry stood, to know that it was of no more avail 
in his case than so much blank paper. He did not like to 
speak of it, but sat reading it over, weighing every word, 
and dreading the moment when he should be called upon to 
make some remark concerning it ; knowing, as he did, that 
what he had to say must dash all Harry's hopes, — the hopes 
of his whole life. While he was hesitating a servant en- 
tered and announced Mr. Jekyl ; and that gentleman, with 
a business-like directness which usually characterized his 
movements, entered the library immediately after. 

" Good-morning, Mr. Clayton," he said, and then, nod- 
ding patronizingly to Harry, he helped himself to a chair, 
and stated his business, without further preamble. 

" I have received orders from Mr. Gordon to come and 
take possession of the estate and chattels of his deceased 
sister, without delay." 

As Clayton sat perfectly silent, it seemed to occur to Mr. 
Jekyl that a few moral reflections of a general nature would 



140 THE TIE BREAKS. 

be in etiquette on the present occasion. He therefore added, 
in the tone of voice which he reserved particularly for that 
style of remark : 

" We have been called upon to pass through most solemn 
and afflicting dispensations of Divine Providence, lately. 
Mr. Clayton, these things remind us of the shortness of life, 
and of the necessity of preparation for death ! " 

Mr. Jekyl paused, and, as Clayton still sat silent, he 
went on : 

" There was no will, I presume ? " 

"No," said Clayton, "there was not." 

" Ah, so I supposed," said Mr. Jekyl, who had now 
recovered his worldly tone. " In that case, of course the 
whole property reverts to the heir-at-law, just as I had 
imagined." 

" Perhaps Mr. Jekyl would look at this paper," said 
Harry, taking his contract from the hand of Mr. Clayton, 
and passing it to Mr. Jekyl ; who took out his sjDectacles, 
placed them deliberately on his sharp nose, and read the 
paper through. 

" Were you under the impression," said he, to Harry, 
" that this is a legal document ? " 

"Certainly," said Harry. "I can bring witnesses to 
prove Mr. John Gordon's signature, and Miss Nina's also." 

"0, that's all evident enough," said Mr. Jekyl. "I 
know Mr. John Gordon's signature. But all the signatures 
in the world could n't make it a valid contract. You see, 
my boy," he said, turning to Harry, " a slave, not being a 
person in the eye of the law, cannot have a contract made 
with him. The law, which is based on the old Roman code, 
holds him, pro nullis, pro mortuis; which means, Harry, that 
he's held as nothing — as dead, inert substance. That's 
his position in law." 

" I believe," said Harry, in a strong and bitter tone, 
" that is what religious people call a Christian institu- 
tion 1 " 



THE TIE BREAKS. 141 

" Hey ? " said Mr. Jekyl, elevating his eyebrows, "what's 
that ? " 

Harry repeated his remark, and Mr. Jekyl replied in the 
most literal manner : 

" Of course it is. It is a divine ordering, and ought to 
be met in a proper spirit. There 's no use, my boy, in re- 
bellion. Hath not the potter power over the clay, to make 
one lump to honor, and another to dishonor ?" 

" Mr. Jekyl, I think it would be expedient to confine the 
conversation simply to legal matters," said Clayton. 

" 0, certainly," said Mr. Jekyl. " And this brings me to 
say that I have orders from Mr. Gordon to stay till he 
comes, and keep order on the place. Also that none of 
the hands shall, at any time, leave the plantation until he 
arrives. I brought two or three officers with me, in case 
there should be any necessity for enforcing order." 

" When will Mr. Gordon be here ? " said Clayton. 

" To-morrow, I believe," said Mr. Jekyl. " Young man," 
he added, turning to Harry, "you can produce the papers 
and books, and I can be attending to the accounts." 

Clayton rose and left the room, leaving Harry with the 
imperturbable Mr. Jekyl, who plunged briskly into the busi- 
ness of the accounts, talking to Harry with as much freedom 
and composure as if he had not just been destroying the 
hopes of his whole lifetime. 

If, by any kind of inward clairvoyance, or sudden clear- 
ing of his mental vision, Mr. Jekyl could have been made to 
appreciate the anguish which at that moment overwhelmed 
the soul of the man with whom he was dealing, we deem it 
quite possible that he might have been moved to a transient 
emotion of pity. Even a thorough-paced political economist 
may sometimes be surprised in this way, by the near view 
of a case of actual irremediable distress ; but he would soon 
have consoled himself by a species of mental algebra, that 
the greatest good of the greatest number was neverthe- 
less secure ; therefore there was no occasion to be troubled 
about infinitesimal amounts of suffering. In this way 



142 THE TIE BEEAKS. 

people can reason away every kind of distress but their 
own ; for it is very remarkable that even so slight an ail- 
ment as a moderate tooth-ache will put this kind of philos- 
ophy entirely to rout. 

" It appears to me," said Mr. Jekyl, looking- at Harry, 
after a while, with more attention than he had yet given 
him, " that something is the matter with you, this morning. 
Are n't you well ? " 

" In body/' said Harry, " I am well." 

" Well, what is the matter, then ?" said Mr. Jekyl. 

"The matter is," said Harry, "that I have all my life 
been toiling for my liberty, and thought I was coming nearer 
to it every year ; and now, at thirty-five years of age, I find 
myself still a slave, with no hope of ever getting free ! " 

Mr. Jekyl perceived from the outside that there was 
something the matter inside of his human brother; some 
unknown quantity in the way of suffering, such as his alge- 
bra gave no rule for ascertaining. He had a confused no- 
tion that this was an affliction, and that when people were 
in affliction they must be talked to ; and he proceeded 
accordingly to talk. 

" My boy, this is a dispensation of Divine Providence ! " 

" I call it a dispensation of human tyranny ! " said Harry. 

"It pleased the Lord," continued Mr. Jekyl, "to fore- 
doom the race of Ham — " 

" Mr. Jekyl, that humbug don't go down with me ! I 'm 
no more of the race of Ham than you are ! I'm Colonel 
Gordon's oldest son — as white as my brother, whom you 
say owns me ! Look at my eyes, and my hair, and say if 
any of the rules about Ham pertain to me ! " 

" Well," said Mr. Jekyl, "my boy, you mustn't get ex- 
cited. Everything must go, you know, by general rules. 
We must take that course which secures the greatest gen- 
eral amount of good on the whole ; and all such rules will 
work hard in particular cases. Slavery is a great mission- 
ary enterprise for civilizing and christianizing the degraded 
African." 



THE TIE BREAKS. 143 

" Wait till you see Tom Gordon's management on this 
plantation," said Harry, "and you'll see what sort of a 
christianizing- institution it is ! Mr. Jekyl, you know bet- 
ter ! You throw such talk as that in the face of your north- 
ern visitors, and you know all the while that Sodom and 
Gomorrah don't equal some of these plantations, where 
nobody is anybody's husband or wife in particular ! You 
know all these things, and you dare talk to me about a mis- 
sionary institution ! What sort of missionary institutions 
are the great trading-marts, where they sell men and 
women ? What are the means of grace they use there ? 
And the dogs, and the negro-hunters ! — those are for the 
greatest good, too ! If your soul were in our souls' stead, 
you 'd see things differently." 

Mr. Jekyl was astonished, and said so. But he found a 
difficulty in presenting his favorite view of the case, under 
the circumstances ; and we believe those ministers of the 
Gospel, and elders, who entertain similar doctrines, would 
gain some new views by the effort to r. resent them to a live 
man in Harry's circumstances. Mr. Jekyl never had a more 
realizing sense of the difference between the abstract and 
concrete. 

Harry was now thoroughly roused. He had inherited the 
violent and fiery passions of his father. His usual appear- 
ance of studied calmness, and his habits of deferential 
address, were superinduced ; they resembled the thin crust 
which coats over a flood of boiling iava, and which a burst 
of the seething mass beneath can shiver in a moment. He 
was now wholly desperate and reckless. He saw himself 
already delivered, bound hand and foot, into the hands of a 
master from whom he could expect neither mercy nor jus- 
tice. He was like one who had hung suspended over an 
abyss, by grasping a wild rose ; the frail and beautiful thing 
was broken, and he felt himself going, with only despair 
beneath him. He rose and stood the other side of the 
table, his hands trembling with excitement. 

" Mr. Jekyl," he said, " it is all over with me ! Twenty 
n. IS 



144 THE TIE BEEAKS. 

years of faithful service have gone for nothing. Myself and 
wife, and unborn child, are the slaves of a vile wretch ! Hush, 
now ! I will have my say for once ! I 've borne, and borne, 
and borne, and it shall come out ! You men who call your- 
selves religious, and stand up for such tyranny, — you ser- 
pents, you generation of vipers, — how can you escape the 
damnation of hell ? You keep the clothes of them who 
stone Stephen ! You encourage theft, and robbery, and 
adultery, and you know it ! You are worse than the villains 
themselves, who don't pretend to justify what they do. Now, 
go, tell Tom Gordon — go ! I shall fighfit out to the last ! 
I 've nothing to hope, and nothing to lose. Let him look 
out ! They made sport of Samson, — they put out his eyes, 
— but he pulled down the temple over their heads, after all. 
Look out ! " 

rr '.,' ; is something awful in an outburst of violent pas- 
sion. The veins in Harry's forehead were swollen, his lips 
were livid, his eyes glittered like lightning ; and Mr. Jekyl 
cowered before him. 

"There will come a day," said Harry, "when all this 
shall be visited upon you ! The measure you have filled to 
us shall be filled to you double — mark my words ! " 

Harry spoke so loudly, in his vehemence, that Clayton 
overheard him, and came behind him silently into the room. 
He was pained, shocked, and astonished ; and, obeying the 
first instinct, he came forward and laid his hand entreatingly 
on Harry's shoulder. 

" My good fellow, you don't know what you are saying," 
he said. 

" Yes I do," said Harry, " and my words will be true ! " 

Another witness had come behind Clayton — Tom Gor- 
don, in his travelling-dress, with pistols at his belt. He had 
ridden over after Jekyl, and had arrived in time to hear 
part of Harry's frantic ravings. 

" Stop ! " he said, stepping into the middle of the room ; 
" leave that fellow to me ! Now, boy," he said, fixing his 
dark and evil eye upon Harry, " you did n't know that your 



THE TIE BREAKS. 145 

master was hearing you, did you ? The last time we met, 
you told me I was n't your master ! Now, we '11 see if 
you '11 say that again ! You went whimpering to your mis- 
tress, and got her to buy Lisette, so as to keep her out of 
my way ! Now who owns her ? — say ! Do you see this ? " 
he said, holding up a long, lithe gutta-percha cane. " This 
is what I .whip dogs with, when they don't know their 
place ! Now, sir, down on your knees, and ask pardon for 
your impudence, or I '11 thrash you within an inch of your 
life ! " 

" I won't kneel to my younger brother ! " said Harry. 

With a tremendous oath, Tom struck him ; and, as if a 
rebound from the stroke, Harry struck back a blow so violent 
as to send him stumbling across the room, against the 
opposite wall : then turned, quick as thought, sprang 
through the open window, climbed down the veranda, 
vaulted on to Tom's horse, which stood tied at the post, 
and fled as rapidly as lightning to his cottage door, where 
Lisette stood at the ironing-table. He reached out his 
hand, and said, " Up, quick, Lisette ! Tom Gordon 's here ! " 
And before Tom Gordon had fairly recovered from the 
dizziness into which the blow had thrown him, the fleet 
blood-horse was whirling Harry and Lisette past bush and 
tree, till they arrived at the place where he had twice before 
met Dred. 

Dred was standing there. " Even so," he said, as the 
horse stopped, and Harry and Lisette descended ; " the 
vision is fulfilled ! Behold, the Lord shall make thee a wit- 
ness and commander to the people ! " 

" There 's no time to be lost," said Harry. 

" Well I know that," said Dred. " Come, follow me ! " 

And before sunset of that evening Harry and Lisette were 
tenants of the wild fastness in the centre of the swamp. 



CHAPTEE XVI. 

THE PURPOSE. 

It would be scarcely possible to describe the scene which 
Harry left in the library. Tom Gordon was for a few 
moments stunned by the violence of his fall, and Clayton 
and Mr. Jekyl at first did not know but he had sustained 
some serious injury ; and the latter, in his confusion, came 
very near attempting his recovery, by pouring in his face 
the contents of the large ink-stand. Certainly, quite as 
appropriate a method, under the circumstances, as the 
exhortations with which he had deluged Harry. But Clay- 
ton, with more presence of mind, held his hand, and rang for 
water. In a few moments, however, Tom recovered himself, 
and started up furiously. 

" Where is he ? " he shouted, with a volley of oaths ; 
which made Mr. Jekyl pull up his shirt-collar, as became a 
good elderly gentleman, preparatory to a little admonition. 

" My young friend — " he began. 

" Blast you ! None of your young friends to me ! Where 
is he?" 

" He has escaped," said Clayton, quietly. 

" He got right out of the window," said Mr. Jekyl. 

" Confound you, why did n't you stop him ? " said Tom, 
violently. 

" If that question is addressed to me," said Clayton, " I 
do not interfere in your family affairs." 

" You have interfered, more than you ever shall again ! " 
said Tom, roughly. " But, there 's no use talking now ; 
that fellow must be chased ! He thinks he 's got away from 



THE PURPOSE. 147 

me — we'll see! I'll make such an example of him as 
shall be remembered ! " He rang the bell violently. "Jim," 
he said, " did you see Harry go off on my horse ? " 

" Yes, sah ! " 

" Then, why in thunder did n't you stop him ? " 

" I tought Mas'r Tom sent him — did so ! " 

" You knew better, you dog ! And now, I tell you, order 
out the best horses, and be on after him ! And, if you don't 
catch him, it shall be the worse for you ! — Stay ! Get me a 
horse ! I '11 go myself." 

Clayton saw that it was useless to remain any longer at 
Canema. He therefore ordered his horse, and departed. 
Tom Gordon cast an evil eye after him, as he rode away. 

" I hate that fellow ! " he said. " I '11 make him mischief, 
one of these days, if I can ! " 

As to Clayton, he rode away in bitterness of spirit. 
There are some men so constituted that the sight of injustice, 
which they have no power to remedy, is perfectly madden- 
ing to them. This is a very painful and unprofitable consti- 
tution, so far as this world is concerned : but they can no 
more help it than they can the tooth-ache. Others may say 
to them, " Why, what is it to you ? You can't help it, and 
it 's none of your concern ;" but still the fever burns on. 
Besides, Clayton had just passed through one of the great 
crises of life. All there is in that strange mystery of what 
man can feel for woman had risen like a wave within him ; 
and, gathering into itself, for a time, the whole force of his be- 
ing, had broken, with one dash, on the shore of death, and the 
waters had flowed helplessly backward. In the great void 
which follows such a crisis, the soul sets up a craving and 
cry for something to come in to fill the emptiness ; and 
while the heart says no person can come into that desolate 
and sacred enclosure, it sometimes embraces a purpose, as 
in some sort a substitute. 

In this manner, with solemnity and earnestness, Clayton 
resolved to receive as a life-purpose a struggle with this 
great system of injustice, which, like a parasitic weed, had 
n. 13* 



148 THE PURPOSE. 

struck its roots through the whole growth of society, and 
was sucking thence its moisture and nourishment. 

As he rode through the lonely pine-woods, he felt his 
veins throbbing and swelling with indignation and desire. 
And there arose within him that sense of power which some- 
times seems to come over man like an inspiration, and leads 
him to say, " This shall not be, and this shall be ; ,; as if he 
possessed the ability to control the crooked course of human 
events. He was thankful in his heart that he had taken the 
first step, by entering his public protest against this injus- 
tice, in quitting the bar of his native state. What was next 
to be done, how the evil was to be attacked, how the 
vague purpose fulfilled, he could not say. Clayton was not 
aware, any more than others in his situation have been, of 
what he was undertaking. He had belonged to an old and 
respected family, and always, as a matter of course, been 
received in all circles with attention, and listened to with 
respect. He who glides dreamily down the glassy surface 
of a mighty river floats securely, making his calculations 
to row upward. He knows nothing what the force of that 
seemingly glassy current will be when his one feeble oar is 
set against the whole volume of its waters. Clayton did 
not know that he was already a marked man ; that he had 
touched a spot, in the society where he lived, which was 
vital, and which that society would never suffer to be 
touched with impunity. It was the fault of Clayton, and is 
the fault of all such men, that he judged mankind by him- 
self. He could not believe that anything, except ignorance 
and inattention, could make men upholders of deliberate 
injustice. He thought all that was necessary was the 
enlightening of the public mind, the direction of general 
attention to the subject. In his waj' homeward he revolved 
in his mind immediate measures of action. This evil should 
no longer be tampered with. He would take on himself the 
task of combining and concentrating those vague impulses 
towards good which he supposed were existing in the com- 
munity. He would take counsel of leading minds. He 



THE PURPOSE. 149 

would give his time to journeyings through the state ; he 
would deliver addresses, write in the newspapers, and do 
what otherwise lies in the power of a free man who wishes to 
reach an utterly unjust law. Full of these determinations, 
Clayton entered again his father's house, after two days of 
solitary riding. He had written in advance to his parents 
of the death of Nina, and had begged them to spare him 
any conversation on that subject ; and, therefore, on his 
first meeting with his mother and father, there was that 
painful blank, that heavy dulness of suffering, which comes 
when people meet together, feeling deeply on one absorbing 
subject, which must not be named. It was a greater self- 
denial to his impulsive, warm-hearted mother than to Clay- 
ton. She yearned to express sympathy ; to throw herself 
upon his neck ; to draw forth his feelings, and mingle them 
with her own. But there are some people with whom this 
is impossible ; it seems to be their fate that they cannot 
speak of what they suffer. It is not pride nor coldness, but 
a kind of fatal necessity, as if the body were a marble prison, 
in which the soul were condemned to bleed and suffer alone. 
It is the last triumph of affection and magnanimity, when a 
loving heart can respect that suffering silence of its beloved, 
and allow that lonely liberty in which only some natures 
can find comfort. 

Clayton's sorrow could only be measured by the eager- 
ness and energy with which, in conversation, he pursued 
the object with which he endeavored to fill his mind. 

" I am far from looking forward with hope to any success 
from your efforts," said Judge Clayton, " the evil is so 
radical." 

" I sometimes think," said Mrs. Clayton, " that I regret 
that Edward began as he did. It was such a shock to the 
prejudices of people ! " 

"People have got to be shocked," said Clayton, "in 
order to wake them up out of old absurd routine. Use 
paralyzes us to almost every injustice ; when people are 
shocked, they begin to think and to inquire." 



150 THE PURPOSE. 

" But would it not have been better," said Mrs. Clayton, 
" to have preserved your personal influence, and thus have 
insinuated 3 r our opinions more gradually ? There is such a 
prejudice against abolitionists ; and, when a man makes 
any sudden demonstration on this subject, people are apt 
to call him an abolitionist, and then his influence is all gone, 
and he can do nothing." 

" 1 suspect/' said Clayton, " there are multitudes now in 
every part of our state who are kept from expressing what 
they really think, and doing what they ought to do, by this 
fear. Somebody must brave this mad-dog cry ; somebody 
must be willing to be odious ; and I shall answer the purpose 
as well as anybody." 

" Have you any definite plan of what is to be attempted ? " 
said his father. 

" Of course," said Clayton, "a, man's first notions on 
such a subject must be crude ; but it occurred to me, first, 
to endeavor to excite the public mind on the injustice of the 
present slave-law, with a view to altering it." 

" And what points would you alter? " said Judge Clay- 
ton. 

" I would give to the slave the right to bring suit for in- 
jury, and to be a legal witness in court. I would repeal the 
law forbidding their education, and I would forbid the sepa- 
ration of families." 

Judge Clayton sat pondering. At length he said, " And 
how will you endeavor to excite the public mind ? " 

" I shall appeal first," said Clayton, " to the church and 
the ministry." 

" You can try it," said his father. 

" Why," said Mrs. Clayton, " these reforms are so evi- 
dently called for, by justice and humanity, and the spirit of 
the age, that I can have no doubt that there will be a gen- 
eral movement among all good people in their favor." 

Judge Clayton made no reply. There are some cases 
where silence is the most disagreeable kind of dissent, be- 
cause it admits of no argument in reply. 



THE PURPOSE. 151 

" In my view," said Clayton, " the course of legal reform, 
in the first place, should remove all those circumstances in 
the condition of the slaves which tend to keep them in igno- 
rance and immorality, and make the cultivation of self- 
respect impossible ; such as the want of education, protec- 
tion in the family state, and the legal power of obtaining 
redress for injuries. After that, the next step would be 
to allow those masters who are so disposed to emancipate, 
giving proper security for the good behavior of their ser- 
vants. They might then retain them as tenants. Under this 
system, emancipation would go on gradually ; only the best 
masters would at first emancipate, and the example would 
be gradually followed. The experiment would soon demon- 
strate the superior cheapness and efficiency of the system of 
free labor ; and self-interest would then come in, to complete 
what principle began. It is only the first step that costs. 
But it seems to me that in the course of my life I have met 
with multitudes of good people, groaning in secret under 
the evils and injustice of slavery, who would gladly give 
their influence to any reasonable effort which promises in 
time to ameliorate and remove them." 

" The trouble is," said Judge Clayton, " that the system, 
though ruinous in the long run to communities, is immedi- 
ately profitable to individuals. Besides this, it is a source 
of political influence and importance. The holders of slaves 
are an aristocracy supported by special constitutional privi- 
leges. They are united against the spirit of the age by a 
common interest and danger, and the instinct of self-preser- 
vation is infallible. No logic is so accurate. 

"As a matter of personal feeling, many slaveholders 
would rejoice in some of the humane changes which you 
propose ; but they see at once that any change endangers 
the perpetuity of the system on which their political im- 
portance depends. Therefore, they"'ll resist you at the very 
outset, not because they would not, many of them, be glad 
to have justice done, but because they think they cannot 
afford it. 



152 THE PURPOSE. 

"They will have great patience with you — they will 
even have sympathy with you — so long- as you confine 
yourself merely to the expression of feeling ; but the mo- 
ment your efforts produce the slightest movement in the 
community, then, my son, you will see human nature in a 
new aspect, and know more about mankind than you know 
now." 

"Very well," said Clayton, "the sooner the better." 

"Well, Edward," said Mrs. Clayton, " if you are going 
to begin with the ministry, why don't you go and talk to 
your Uncle dishing? He is one of the most influential 
among the Presbyterians in the whole state ; and I have 
often heard him lament, in the strongest manner, the evils 
of slavery. He has told me some facts about its effect on 
the character of his church-members, both bond and free, 
that are terrible ! " 

"Yes," said Judge Clayton, "your brother will do all 
that. He will lament the evils of slavery in private circles, 
and he will furnish you any number of facts, if you will not 
give his authority for them." 

" And don't you think that he will be willing to do some- 
thing ? " 

" No," said Judge Clayton, "not if the cause is unpop- 
ular." 

"Why," said Mrs. Clayton, "do you suppose that my 
brother will be deterred from doing his duty for fear of per- 
sonal unpopularity ? " 

"No," said Judge Clayton ; "but your brother has the 
interest of Zion on his shoulders, — by which he means the 
Presbyterian organization, — and he will say that he can't 
afford to risk his influence. And the same will be tine of 
every leading minister of every denomination. The Episco- 
palians are keeping watch over Episcopacy, the Methodists 
over Methodism, the Baptists over Baptism. None of them 
dare espouse an unpopular cause, lest the others, taking ad- 
vantage of it, should go beyond them in public favor. 



THE PURPOSE. 153 

None of them will want the odium of such a reform as 
this." 

"But I don't see any odium in it," said Mrs. Clayton. 
" It 's one of the noblest and one of the most necessary of 
all possible changes." 

"Nevertheless," said Judge Clayton, " it will be made 
to appear extremely odious. The catch-words of abolition, 
incendiarism, fanaticism, will fly thick as hail. And the 
storm will be just in proportion to the real power of the 
movement. It will probably end in Edward's expulsion 
from the state." 

"My father, I should be unwilling to think," said Clay- 
ton, " that the world is quite so bad as you represent it, — ■ 
particularly the religious world." 

" I was not aware that I was representing it as very 
bad," said Judge Clayton. "I only mentioned such facts 
as everybody can see about them. There are undoubtedly 
excellent men in the church." 

"But," said Clayton, "did not the church, in the primi- 
tive ages, stand against the whole world in arms ? If reli- 
gion be anything, must it not take the lead of society, and 
be its sovereign and teacher, and not its slave ? " 

" I don't know as to that," said Judge Clayton. " I 
think you '11 find the facts much as I have represented them. 
What the church was in the primitive ages, or what it ought 
to be now, is not at all to our purpose, in making practical 
calculations. Without any disrespect, I wish to speak of 
things just as they are. Nothing is ever gained by false 
expectations." 

"0," said Mrs. Clayton, "you 'awyers get so uncharita- 
ble ! I 'm quite sure that Edward will find brother read}' to 
go heart and hand with him." 

" I 'm sure I shall be glad of it, if he does," said Judge 
Clayton. 

" I shall write to him about it, immediately," said Mrs. 
Clayton, "and Edward shall go and talk with him. Cour- 
age, Edward ! Our woman's instincts, after all, have some 



154 THE PURPOSE. 

prophetic power in them. At all events, we women will 
stand by yon to the last." 

Clayton sighed. He remembered the note Nina had 
written him on the day of the decisioa, and thought what a 
brave-hearted little creature she was ; and, like the faint 
breath of a withered rose, the shadowy remembrance of her 
seemed to say to him, "Go on ! " 



CHAPTER XYI. 

THE NEW MOTHER. 

The cholera at length disappeared, and the establishment 
of our old friend Tiff proceeded as of yore. His chickens 
and turkeys grew to maturity, and cackled and strutted 
joyously. His corn waved its ripening flags in the Septem- 
ber breezes. The grave of the baby had grown green with 
its first coat of grass, and Tiff was comforted for his loss, 
because, as he said, "he knowed he 's better off." Miss 
Fanny grew healthy and strong, and spent many long sunny 
hours wandering in the woods with Teddy ; or, sitting out 
on the bench where Nina had been wont to read to them, 
would spell out with difficulty, for her old friend's comfort 
and enlightenment, the half-familiar words of the wondrous 
story that Nina had brought to their knowledge. 

The interior of the poor cottage bore its wonted air of 
quaint, sylvan refinement ; and Tiff went on with his old 
dream of imagining it an ancestral residence, of which his 
young master and mistress were the head, and himself their 
whole retinue. He was sitting in his tent door, in the cool 
of the day, while Teddy and Fanny had gone for wild grapes, 
cheerfully examining and mending his old pantaloons, mean- 
while recreating his soul with a cheerful conversation with 
himself. 

" Now, Old Tiff," said he, " one more patch on dese yer, 
'cause it an't much matter what you wars. Mas'r is 
allers a promising to bring home some cloth fur to make a 
more 'specable pair ; but, laws, he never does nothing he 
says he will. An't no trusting in dat 'scription o' people, 
n. 14 



156 THE NEW MOTHER. 

— jiggeting up and down de country, drinking at all do 
taverns, fetching disgrace on de fam'ly, spite o' all I can 
do ! Mighty long time since he been home, any how ! 
Should n't wonder if de cholera 'd cotched him ! Well, 
de Lord's will be done ! Pit} r to kill such critturs 1 
Would n't much mind if he should die. Laws, he an't much 
profit to de family, coming home here wid lots o 7 old trash, 
drinking up all my chicken-money down to 'Pijah Skin- 
flint's ! For my part, I believe dem devils, when dey went 
out o' de swine, went into de whiskey-bar'l. Dis yer liquor 
makes folks so ugly 1 Teddy shan't never touch none as 
long as dere 's a drop o' Peyton blood in my veins ! Lord, 
but dis yer world is full o' 'spensations ! Por, dear Miss 
Nina, dat was a doing for de chil'en ! she 's gone up among 
de angels ! Well, bress de Lord, we must do de best we 
can, and we '11 all land on de Canaan shore at last." 

And Tiff uplifted a quavering stave of a favorite melody : 

" My brother, I have found 
The land that doth abound 

With food as sweet as manna. 
The more I eat, I find 
The more I am inclined 

To shout and sing hosanna ! " 

"Shoo! shoo! shoo!" he said, observing certain long- 
legged, half-grown chickens, who were surreptitiously tak- 
ing advantage of his devotional engrossments to rush past 
him into the kitchen. 

" 'Pears like dese yer chickens never will larn nothing ! " 
said Tiff, finding that his vigorous "shooing" only scared 
the whole flock in, instead of admonishing .them out. So 
Tiff had to lay down his work ; and his thimble rolled one 
way, and his cake of wax another, hiding themselves under 
the leaves ; while the hens, seeing Tiff at the door, instead 
of accepting his polite invitation to walk out, acted in that 
provoking and inconsiderate way that hens generally will, 
running promiscuously up and down, flapping their wings, 



THE NEW MOTHER. 157 

cackling, upsetting pots, kettles, and pans, in promiscuous 
ruin, Tiff each moment becoming more and more wrathful 
at their entire want of consideration. 

" Bress me, if I ever did see any kind o' crittur so shal- 
ler as hens ! " said Tiff, as, having finally ejected them, he 
was busy repairing the ruin they had wrought in Miss Fan- 
ny's fanciful floral arrangements, which were all lying in 
wild confusion. " I tough t de Lord made room in every 
beast's head for some sense, but 'pears like hens an't got 
de leastest grain ! Puts me out, seeing dem crawking and 
crawing on one leg, 'cause dey han't got sense 'nough to 
know whar to set down toder. Dey never has no idees what 
dey 's going to do, from morning to night, I b'lieve ! But, 
den, dere 's folks dat 's just like 'em, dat de Lord has gin 
brains to, and dey won't use 'em. Dey 's always settin 
round, but dey never lays no eggs. So hens an't de wust 
critturs, arter all. And I rally don' know what we 'd 
do widout 'em ! " said Old Tiff, relentingly, as, appeased 
from his wrath, he took up at once his needle and his psalm, 
singing lustily, and with good courage, 

" Perhaps you '11 tink me wild, 
And simple as a child, 

But I 'in a child of glory ! " 

"Laws, now," said Tiff, pursuing his reflections to him- 
self, " maybe he 's dead now, sure 'nough ! And if he is, 
why, I can do for de chil'en raal powerful. I sold right 
smart of eggs dis yer summer, and de sweet 'tatoes 
allers fetches a good price. If I could only get de chil'en 
along wid der reading, and keep der manners handsome ! 
Why, Miss Fanny, now, she 's growing up to be raal perty. 
She got de raal Peyton look to her ; and dere 's dis yer 
'bout gals and women, dat if dey 's perty, why, somebody 
wants to be marrying of 'em ; and so dey gets took care 
of. I tell you, dere shan't any of dem fellers dat he brings 
home wid him have anyting to say to he r ! Peyton blood 
an't for der money, I can tell 'em ! Dem fellers allers 



158 THE NEW MOTHER. 

find 'emselves mighty onlucky as long as I 's round ! 
One ting or 'nother happens to 'em, so dat dey don't want 
to come no more. Drefful por times dey has ! " And 
Tiff shook with a secret chuckle. 

" But, now, yer see, dere 's never any knowing ! Dere may 
be some Peyton property coming to dese yer chil'en. I 's 
known sich tings happen, 'fore now. Lawj-ers calling 
after de heirs ; and den here dey be a'ready fetched up. 
1 's minding dat I 'd better speak to Miss Nina's man 'bout 
dese yer chil'en ; 'cause he 's a nice, perty man, and 
nat'rally he 'd take an interest ; and dat ar handsome sister 
of his, dat was so thick wid Miss Nina, maybe she 'd be 
doing something for her. Any way, dese yer chil'en shall 
neber come to want 'long as I 's above ground ! " 

Alas for the transitory nature of human expectations ! 
Even our poor little Arcadia in the wilderness, where we 
have had so many hours of quaint delight, was destined to 
feel the mutability of all earthly joys and prospects. Even 
while Tiff spoke and sung, in the exuberance of joy and secu- 
rity of his soul, a disastrous phantom was looming up from 
a distance — the phantom of Cripps' old wagon. Cripps 
was not dead, as was to have been hoped, but returning for 
a more permanent residence, bringing with him a bride of 
his own heart's choosing. 

Tiff's dismay — his utter, speechless astonishment — may 
be imagined, when the ill-favored machine rumbled up to 
the door, and Cripps produced from it what seemed to be, 
at first glance, a bundle of tawdry, dirty finery ; but at last 
it turned out to be a woman, so far gone in intoxication as 
scarcely to be sensible of what she was doing. Evidently, 
she was one of the lowest of that class of poor whites whose 
wretched condition is not among the least of the evils of 
slavery. Whatever she might have been naturally, — what 
ever of beauty or of good there might have been in the 
womanly nature within her, — lay wholly withered and 
eclipsed under th r ; foice of an education churchless, school- 
less, with all the vices of civilization without its refinements, 



THE NEW MOTHER. 159 

and all the vices of barbarism without the occasional nobility 
by which they are sometimes redeemed. A low and vicious 
connection with this woman had at last terminated in mar- 
riage — such marriages as one shudders to think of, where 
gross animal natures come together, without even a glim- 
mering idea of the higher purposes of that holy relation. 

" Tiff, this yer is your new mistress," said Cripps, with 
an idiotic laugh. "Plaguy nice girl, too! I thought I 'd 
bring the children a mother to take cai'e of them. Come 
along, girl ! " 

Looking closer, we recognize in the woman our old ac- 
quaintance, Polly Skinflint. 

He pulled her forward; and she, coming in, seated herself 
on Fanny's bed. Tiff looked as if he could have struck 
her dead. An avalanche had fallen upon him. He stood 
in the door with the slack hand of utter despair ; while she, 
swinging her heels, began leisurely spitting about her, in 
every direction, the juice of a quid of tobacco, which she 
cherished in one cheek. 

" Durned if this yer an't pretty well ! " she said. " Only 
I want the nigger to heave out that ar trash ! " pointing to 
Fanny's flowers. " I don't want children sticking no herbs 
round my house ! Hey, you nigger, heave out that trash ! " 

As Tiff stood still, not obeying this call, the woman ap- 
peared angry ; and, coming up to him, struck him on the 
side of the head. 

" 0, come, come, Poll ! " said Cripps, " you be still ! He 
an't used to no such ways." 

" Still ! " said the amiable lady, turning round to him. 
"You go 'long ! Didn't you tell me, if I married you, I 
should have a nigger to order round, just as I pleased ? " 

" Well, well," said Cripps, who was not by any means a 
cruelty-disposed man, "I didn't think you'd want to go 
walloping him, the first thing." 

" I will, if he don't shin round," said the virago, "and 
you, too ! " 

And this vigorous profession was further carried out by a 
ii. 14* 



160 THE NEW MOTHER. 

vigorous shove, which reacted in Cripps in the form of a 
cuff, and in a few moments the disgraceful scuffle was at 
its full height. And Tiff turned in disgust and horror from 
the house. 

" 0, good Lord ! " he said to himself; " we does n't know 
what 's 'fore us ! And I 's feeling so bad when de Lord 
took my por little man, and now I 's ready to go down on 
my knees to thank de Lord dat he 's took him away from de 
evil to come ! To think of my por sweet lamb, Miss Fanny, 
as I 's been bringing up so earful! Lord, dis yer's a 
heap worse dan de cholera ! " 

It was with great affliction and dismay that he saw the 
children coming forward in high spirits, bearing between 
them a basket of wild-grapes, which they had been gather- 
ing. He ran out to meet them. 

"Laws, yer por lambs," he said, "yer doesn't know 
what's a coming on you ! Yer pa's gone and married a 
drefful low white woman, sich as an't fit for no Christian 
children to speak to. And now dey 's quar'ling and 
fighting in dere, like two heathens ! And Miss Nina 's dead, 
and dere an't no place for you to go ! " 

And the old man sat down and actually wept aloud, while 
the children, frightened, got into his arms, and nestled close 
to him for protection, crying too. 

" What shall we do ? what shall we do ? " said Fanny. 
And Teddy, who always repeated, reverentially, all his 
sister's words, said, after her, in a deplorable whimper, 
" What shall we do ? " 

" I 's a good mind to go off wid you in de wilderness, 
like de chil'en of Israel," said Tiff, "though dere an't no 
manna falling nowadays." 

"Tiff, does marrying father make her our ma?" said 
Fanny. 

" No 'deed, Miss Fanny, it does n't ! Yer ma was one 
o' de fustest old Virginny families. It was jist throwing 
herself 'way, marrying him ! I neber said dat ar 'fore, 
'cause it wan't 'spectful. But I don't care now I " 



THE NEW MOTHER. 161 

At this moment Cripps' voice was heard shouting : 

" Hallo, you Tiff ! Where is the durned nigger ? I say, 
come back ! Poll and I 's made it up, now ! Bring 'long 
them children, and let them get acquainted with their 
mammy/' he said, laying hold of Fanny's hand, and draw- 
ing her, frightened and crying, towards the house. 

" Don't you be afraid, child/' said Cripps : " I 've brought 
you a new ma." 

" We didn't want any new ma ! " said Teddy, in a dolo- 
rous voice. 

"0, yes, you do," said Cripps, coaxing him. "Come 
along, my little man! There's your mammy," he said, 
pushing him into the fat embrace of Polly. 

" Fanny, go kiss your ma." 

Fanny hung back and cried, and Teddy followed her 
example. 

" Confound the durn young 'uns ! " said the new-married 
lady. "I told you, Cripps, I didn't want no brats of 
t' other woman's ! Be plague enough when I get some of 
my own ! " 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 

The once neat and happy cottage, of which Old Tiff was 
the guardian genius, soon experienced sad reverses. Polly 
Skinflint's violent and domineering temper made her ab- 
sence from her father's establishment rather a matter of 
congratulation to Abijah. Her mother, one of those listless 
and inefficient women, whose lives flow in a calm, muddy 
current of stupidity and laziness, talked very little about it ; 
but, on the whole, was perhaps better contented to be out 
of the range of Polly's sharp voice and long arms. It was 
something of a consideration, in Abijah's shrewd view of 
things, that Cripps owned a nigger — the first point to which 
the aspiration of the poor white of the South generally 
tends. Polly, whose love of power was a predominant 
element in her nature, resolutely declared, in advance, she 'd 
make him shin round, or she 'd know the reason why. As 
to the children, she regarded them as the encumbrances 
of the estate, to be got over with in the best way possible ; 
for, as she graphically remarked, " Every durned young 
'nn had to look out when she was 'bout ! " 

The bride had been endowed with a marriage-portion, 
by her father, of half a barrel of whiskey ; and it was 
announced that Cripps was tired of trading round the coun- 
try, and meant to set up trading at home. In short, the 
little cabin became a low grog-shop, a resort of the most 
miserable and vicious portion of the community. The vio- 
lent temper of Polly soon drove Cripps upon his travels 
again, and his children were left unprotected to the fury of 



THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 163 

their step-mother's temper. Every vestige of whatever was 
decent about the house and garden was soon swept away ; 
for the customers of the shop, in a grand Sunday drinking- 
bout, amused themselves with tearing down even the prai- 
rie-rose and climbing-vine that once gave a sylvan charm 
to the rude dwelling. Polly's course, in the absence of her 
husband, was one of gross, unblushing licentiousness ; and 
the ears and eyes of the children were shocked with lan- 
guage and scenes too bad for repetition. 

Old Tiff was almost heart-broken. He could have borne 
the beatings and starvings winch came on himself: but the 
abuse which came on the children he could not bear. One 
night, when the drunken orgie was raging within the house, 
Tiff gathered courage from despair. 

" Miss Fanny," he said, "'jist go in de garret, and make 
a bundle o' sich tings as dere is, and throw 'em out o' de 
winder. I 's been a praying night and day ; and de Lord 
says He '11 open some way or oder for us ! I '11 keep 
Teddy out here under de trees, while you jist bundles up 
what por clothes is left, and throws 'em out o' de winder." 

Silently as a ray of moonlight, the fair, delicate-looking 
child glided through the room where her step-mother and 
two or three drunken men were revelling in a loathsome 
debauch. 

" Halloa, sis ! " cried one of the men, after her, " where 
are you going to ? Stop here, and give me a kiss ! " 

The unutterable look of mingled pride, and fear, and 
angry distress, which the child cast, as, quick as thought, 
she turned from them and ran up the ladder into the loft, 
occasioned roars of laughter. 

" I say. Bill, why did n't 3*011 catch her? " said one. 

" 0, no ".atter for that," said another; " she '11 come of 
her own accord, one of these days." 

Fanny's heart beat like a frightened bird, as she made 
up her little bundle. Then, throwing it to Tiff, who was 
below in the dark, she called out, in a low, earnest whisper 



1G4 THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 

" Tiff, put up that board, and I'll climb down on it. 1 
won't go back among those dreadful men ! " 

Carefully and noiselessly as possible, Tiff lifted a long, 
rough slab, and placed it against the side of the house. 
Carefully Fanny set her feet on the top of it, and, spreading 
her arms, came down, like a little puff of vapor, into the 
arms of her faithful attendant. 

" Bress de Lord ! Here we is, all right," said Tiff. 

" 0, Tiff, I 'm so glad ! " said Teddy, holding fast to the 
skirt of Tiff's apron, and jumping for joy. 

" Yes," said Tiff, " all right. Now de angel of de Lord '11 
go with us into de wilderness ! " 

"There's plenty of angels there, an't there?" said 
Teddy, victoriously, as he lifted the little bundle, with 
undoubting faith. 

"Laws, yes!" said Tiff. "I don' know why dere 
shouldn't be in our days. Any rate, de Lord 'peared to 
me in a dream, and says he, ' Tiff, rise and take de chil'en 
and go in de land of Egypt, and be dere till de time Ltell 
dee.' Dem is de bery words. And 'twas 'tweende cock- 
crow and daylight dey come to me, when I 'd been lying 
dar praying, like a hail-storm, all night, not gibing de Lord 
no rest ! Says I to him, says I, ' Lord, I don' know nothing 
what to do ; and now, ef you was por as I be, and I was 
great king, like you, I 'd help you ! And now, Lord,' says I, 
' you must help us, 'cause we an't got no place else to go ; 
'cause, you know, Miss Nina she 7 s dead, and Mr. John 
Gordon, too ! And dis yer woman will ruin dese yer 
chil'en, ef you don't help us ! And now I hope you won't 
be angry ! But I has to be very bold, 'cause tings have 
got so dat we can't bar 'em no longer ! ' Den, yer see, I 
dropped 'sleep ; and I had n't no more 'n got to sleep, jist 
after cock-crow, when de voice come ! " 

"And is this the land of Egypt," said Teddy, "that 
we 're going to ? " 

"I spect so," said Tiff. "Don't you know de story 
Miss Nina read to you, once, how de angel of de Lord 



THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 165 

'peared to Hagar in de wilderness, when she was sitting 
down under de bush. Den dere was anoder one come to 
'Lijah when he was under de juniper-tree, when he was 
wandering up and down, and got hungry, and woke up ; 
and dere, sure 'nough, was a corn-cake baking for him on 
de coals ! Don't you mind Miss Nina was reading dat ai- 
de bery last Sunday she come to our place ? Bress de Lord 
for sending her to us ! I 's got heaps o' good through 
dem readings." 

"Do you think we really shall see any?" said Fanny, 
with a little shade of apprehension in her voice. " I don't 
know as I shall know how to speak to them." 

" 0, angels is pleasant-spoken, well-meaning folks, allers," 
said Tiff, " and don't take no 'fence at us. Of course, dey 
knows we an't fetched up in der ways, and dey don't spect 
it of us. It's my 'pinion," said Tiff, "dat when folks is 
honest, and does de bery best dey can, dey don't need to be 
'fraid to speak to angels, nor nobody else ; 'cause, you see, 
we speaks to de Lord hisself when we prays, and, bress de 
Lord, he don't take it ill of us, no ways. And now it 's 
borne in strong on my mind, dat de Lord is going to lead us 
through the wilderness, and bring us to good luck. Now, 
you see, I 's going to follow de star, like de wise men did." 

While they were talking, they were making their way 
through dense woods in the direction of the swamp, every 
moment taking them deeper and deeper into the tangled 
brush and underwood. The children were accustomed 
to wander for hours through the wood ; and, animated by 
the idea of having escaped their persecutors, followed Tiff 
with alacrity, as he went before them, clearing away the 
brambles and vines with his long arms, every once in a 
while wading with them across a bit of morass, or climb- 
ing his way through the branches of some uprooted tree. 
It was after ten o'clock at night when they started. It 
was now after midnight. Tiff had held on his course in the 
direction of the swamp, where he knew many fugitives were 



1G6 THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 

concealed ; and he was not without hopes of coming upon 
some camp or settlement of them. 

About one o'clock they emerged from the more tangled 
brushwood, and stood on a slight little clearing, where a 
grape-vine, depending in natural festoons from a sweet 
gum-tree, made a kind of arbor. The moon was shining 
very full and calm, and the little breeze fluttered the grape- 
leaves, casting the shadow of some on the transparent 
greenness of others. The dew had fallen so heavily in 
that moist region, that every once in a while, as a slight 
wind agitated the leaves, it might be heard pattering from 
one to another, like rain-drops. Teddy had long been com- 
plaining bitterly of fatigue. Tiff now sat down under this 
arbor, and took him fondly into his arms. 

" Sit down, Miss Fanny. And is Tiff's brave little man 
got tired ? Well, he shall go to sleep, dat he shall ! We 's 
got out a good bit now. I reckon dey won't find us. We 's 
out here wid de good Lord's works, and dey won't none on 
'em tell on us. So, now, hush, my por little man ; shut 
up your eyes ! " And Tiff quavered the immortal cradle- 
hymn, 

" Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber ! 
Holy angels guard thy bed ; 
Heavenly blessings, without number, 
Gently falling on thy head." 

In a few moments Teddy was sound asleep, and Tiff, 
wrapping him in his white great-coat, laid him down at the 
root of a tree. 

" Bress de Lord, dere an't no whiskey here ! " he said, 
" nor no drunken critturs to wake him up. And now, Miss 
Fanny, por chile, your eyes is a falling. Here 's dis yer 
old shawl I put up in de pocket of my coat. Wrap it round 
you, whilst I scrape up a heap of dem pine-leaves, yonder. 
Dem is reckoned mighty good for sleeping on, 'cause dey 
7 s so healthy, kinder. Dar, you see, I ; s got a desput big 
heap of 'em," 



THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 167 

"I'm tired, but I'm not sleepy," said Fanny. "But, 
Tiff, what are you going to do ? " 

"Do!" said Tiff, laughing, with somewhat of his old, 
joyous laugh. "Ho ! ho ! ho ! I 's going to sit up for to 
meditate — a 'sidering on de fowls of de air, and de lilies 
in de held, and all dem dar Miss Nina used to read 'bout." 

For many weeks, Fanny's bed-chamber had been the hot, 
dusty loft of the cabin, with the heated roof just above her 
head, and the noise of bacchanalian revels below. Now she 
lay sunk down among the soft and fragrant pine-foliage, and 
looked up, watching the checkered roof of vine-leaves 
above her head, listening to the still patter of falling dew- 
drops, and the tremulous whirr and flutter of leaves. Some- 
times the soft night-winds swayed the tops of the pines 
with a long swell of dashing murmurs, like the breaking of 
a tide on a distant beach. The moonlight, as it came slid- 
ing down through the checkered, leafy roof, threw frag- 
ments and gleams of light, which moved capriciously here 
and there over the ground, revealing now a great silvery 
fern-leaf, and then a tuft of white flowers, gilding spots on 
the branches and trunks of the trees ; while every moment 
the deeper shadows were lighted up by the gleaming of 
fire-flies. The child would raise her head a while, and look 
on the still scene around, and then sink on her fragrant pil- 
low in dreamy delight. Everything w T as so still, so calm, 
so pure, no wonder she was prepared to believe that the 
angels of the Lord were to be found in the wilderness. 
They who have walked in closest communion with nature 
have ever found that they have not departed thence. The 
wilderness and solitary places are still glad for them, and 
their presence makes the desert to rejoice and blossom as 
the rose. 

When Fanny and Teddy were both asleep, Old Tiff knelt 

down and addressed himself to his prayers ; and, though 

he had neither prayer-book, nor cushion, nor formula, his 

words went right to the mark, in the best English he could 

tt. 15 



168 THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 

command for any occasion ; and, so near as we could collect 
from the sound of his words, Tiff's prayer ran as follows : 

" 0, good Lord, now please do look down on dese yer 
chil'en. I started 'em out, as you telled me ; and now whar 
we is to go, and whar we is to get any breakfast, I 's sure 
I don' know. But, good Lord, you has got everyting 
in de world in yer hands, and it 's mighty easy for you to 
be helping on us ; and I has faith to believe dat you will. 
0, bressed Lord Jesus, dat was carried off into Egypt for 
fear of de King Herod, do, pray, look down on dese yer por 
chil'en, for I 's sure dat ar woman is as bad as Herod, any 
day. Good Lord, you 's seen how she 's been treating on 
'em ; and now do pray open a way for us through de wil- 
derness to de promised land. Everlasting — -Amen." 

The. last two words Tiff always added to his prayers, 
from a sort of sense of propriety, feeling as if they rounded 
off the prayer, and made it, as he would have phrased it, 
more like a white prayer. We have only to say, to those 
who question concerning this manner of prayer, that, if they 
will examine the supplications of patriarchs of ancient 
times, they will find that, with the exception of the broken 
English and bad grammar, they were in substance very 
much like this of Tiff. 

The Bible divides men into two classes : those who trust 
in themselves, and those who trust in God. The one class 
walk by their own light, trust in their own strength, fight 
their own battles, and have no confidence otherwise. The 
other, not neglecting to use the wisdom and strength which 
God has given them, still trust in his wisdom and his 
strength to carry out the weakness of theirs. The one class 
go through life as orphans ; the other have a Father. 

Tiff's prayer had at least this recommendation, that he 
felt perfectly sure that something was to come of it. Had 
he not told the Lord all about it ? Certainly he had ; and 
of course he would be helped. And this confidence Tiff 
took, as Jacob did a stone, for his pillow, as he lay down 
between his children and slept soundly. 



THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 169 

How innocent, soft, and kind, are all God's works ! 
From the silent shadows of the forest the tender and loving- 
presence which our sin exiled from the haunts of men hath 
not yet departed. Sweet fall the moonbeams through 
the dewy leaves ; peaceful is the breeze that waves the 
branches of the pines ; merciful and tender the little wind 
that shakes the small flowers and tremulous wood-grasses 
flattering over the heads of the motherless children. 0, 
thou who bearest in thee a heart hot and weary, sick and 
faint with the vain tumults and confusions of the haunts of 
men, go to the wilderness, and thou shalt find Him there 
who saith, " As one whom his mother eomforteth, so will I 
comfort you. I will be as the dew to Israel. He shall grow 
as a lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon." 

Well, they slept there quietly, all night long. Between 
three and four o'clock, an oriole, who had his habitation in 
the vine above their heads, began a gentle twittering con- 
versation with some of his neighbors ; not a loud song, I 
would give you to understand, but a little, low inquiry as to 
what o'clock it was. And then, if you had been in a still 
room at that time, you might have heard, through all the 
trees of pine, beech, holly, sweet-gum, and larch, a little, 
tremulous stir and flatter of birds awaking and stretching 
their wings. Little eyes were opening in a thousand climb- 
ing vines, where soft, feathery habitants had hung, swing- 
ing breezily, ail night. Low twitterings and chirpings were 
heard ; then a loud, clear, echoing chorus of harmony an- 
swering from tree to tree, jubilant and joyous as if there 
never had been a morning before. The morning star had 
not yet gone down, nor were the purple curtains of the 
east undrawn ; and the moon, which had been shining full 
all night, still stood like a patient, late-burning light in a 
quiet chamber. It is not everybody that wakes to hear 
this first chorus of the birds. They who sleep till sunrise 
have lost it, and with it a thousand mysterious pleasures, 
— strange, sweet communings, — which, like morning dew, 
begin to evaporate when the sun rises. 



170 THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 

But, though. Tiff and the children slept all night, we are 
under no obligations to keep our eyes shut to the fact that 
between three and four o'clock there came crackling through 
the swamps the dark figure of one whose journey ings were 
more often by night than by day. Dred had been out on 
one of his nightly excursions, carrying game, which he dis- 
posed of for powder and shot at one of the low stores we 
have alluded to. He came unexpectedly on the sleepers, 
while making his way back. His first movement, on seeing 
them, was that of surprise ; then, stooping and examining 
the group more closely, he appeared to recognize them. 
Dred had known Old Tiff before ; and had occasion to go to 
him more than once to beg supplies for fugitives in the 
swamps, or to get some errand performed which he could 
not himself venture abroad to attend to. Like others of 
his race, Tiff, on all such subjects, was so habitually and 
unfathomably secret, that the children, who knew him most 
intimately, had never received even a suggestion from him 
of the existence of any such person. 

Dred, whose eyes, sharpened by habitual caution, never 
lost sight of any change in his vicinity, had been observant 
of that which had taken place in Old Tiff's affairs. When, 
therefore, he saw him sleeping as we have described, he 
understood the whole matter at once. He looked at the 
children, as they lay nestled at the roots of the tree, with 
something of a softened expression, muttering to himself, 
" They embrace the Rock for shelter." 

He opened a pouch which he wore on his side, and took 
from thence one or two corn-dodgers and half a broiled rab- 
bit, which his wife had put up for hunting provision, the 
day before ; and, laying them down on the leaves, hastened 
on to a place where he had intended to surprise some game 
in the morning. 

The chorus of birds we have before described awakened 
Old Tiff, accustomed to habits of early rising. He sat up, 
and began rubbing his eyes and stretching himself. He 



THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 171 

bad slept well, for his habits of hfe had not been such as to 
make him at all fastidious with regard to his couch. 

" Well/' he said to himself, "any way, dat ar woman 
won't get dese yer chil'en, dis yer day ! " And he gave one 
of his old hearty laughs, to think how nicely he had out- 
witted her. 

"Laws," he said to himself, "don't I hear her now! 
'Tiff! Tiff! Tiff! ' she says. Holla away, old mist' ! Tiff 
don't hear yer ! no, nor de chil'en eider, por blessed 
lambs ! " 

Here, in turning to the children, his eye fell on the pro- 
visions. At first he stood petrified, with his hands lifted in 
astonishment. Had the angel been there ? Sure enough, 
he thought. 

"Well, now, bress de Lord, sure 'nough, here's de 
bery breakfast I 's asking for last night ! Well, I 
knowed de Lord would do something for us ; but I really 
did n't know as 't would come so quick ! May be ravens 
brought it, as dey did to 'Lijah — bread and flesh in de 
morning, and bread and flesh at night. Well, dis yer's 
'couraging — 't is so. I won't wake up de por little lambs. 
Let 'em sleep. Dey '11 be mighty tickled when dey comes 
fur to see de breakfast ; and, den, out here it 's so sweet 
and clean ! None yer nasty 'bacca-spittins of folks dat 
does n't know how to be decent. Bress me, I 's rather tired, 
myself. I spects I 'd better camp clown again, till de 
chil'en wakes. Dat ar crittur 's kep me gwine till I ; s got 
pretty stiff, wid her contrary ways. Spect she '11 be as 
troubled as King Herod was, and all 'Rusalem wid her ! " 

And Tiff rolled and laughed quietly, in the security of his 
heart. 

"I say, Tiff, where are we?" said a little voice at his 
side. 

" Whar is we, puppit ? " said Tiff, turning over ; " why, 
bress yer sweet eyes, how does yer do, dis mornin ? Stretch 
away, my man ! Neber be 'fraid ; we 's in de Lord's dig- 
gins now, all safe. And de angel 'a got a breakfast ready 
ii. 15* 



172 THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 

for us, too ! " said Tiff, displaying the provision, which he 
had arranged on some vine-leaves. 

" 0, Uncle Tiff, did the angels bring that ? " said Teddy. 
" Why did n't you wake me up ? I wanted to see them. I 
never saw an angel, in all my life ! " 

" Nor I neider, honey. Dey comes mostly when we 's 
'sleep. But, stay, dere 's Miss Fanny, a waking up. How 
is ye, lamb ? Is ye 'freshed ? " 

" 0, Uncle Tiff, I 've slept so sound/' said Fanny ; " and 
I dreamed such a beautiful dream ! " 

" Well, den, tell it right off, 'fore breakfast," said Tiff, "to 
make it come true." 

" Well," said Fanny, " I dreamed I was in a desolate 
place, where I could n't get out, all full of rocks and bram- 
bles, and Teddy was with me ; and while we were trying 
and trying, our ma came to us. She looked like our ma, only 
a great deal more beautiful ; and she had a strange white 
dress on, that shone, and hung clear to her feet ; and she 
took hold of our hands, and the rocks opened, and we 
walked through a path into a beautiful green meadow, full 
of lilies and wild strawberries ; and then she was gone." 

"Well," said Teddy, "maybe 'twas she who brought 
some breakfast to us. See here, what we 've got ! " 

Fanny looked surprised and pleased, but, after some con- 
sideration, said, 

" I don't believe mamma brought that. I don't believe 
they have corn-cake and roast meat in heaven. If it had 
been manna, now, it would have been more likely." 

" Neber mind whar it comes from," said Tiff. "It's 
right good, and we bress de Lord for it." 

And they sat down accordingly, and ate their breakfast 
with a good heart. 

"Now," said Tiff, " somewhar rouii' in dis yer swamp 
dere 's a camp o' de colored people ; but I don' know rightly 
whar 't is. If we could get dar, we could stay dar a while, 
till something or nuder should turn up. Hark! what's 
dat ar ? " 



THE PLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 173 

; T was the crack of a rifle reverberating through the 
dewy, leafy stillness of the forest. 

" Dat ar an't fur off," said Tiff. 

The children looked a little terrified. 

" Don't you be 'fraid," he said. " I would n't wonder but 
I knowed who dat ar was. Hark, now ! 't is somebody 
coming dis yerway." 

A clear, exultant voice sung, through the leafy distance, 

" 0, had I the wings of the morning, 
I 'd fly away to Canaan's shore." 

" Yes," said Tiff, to himself, " dat ar 's his voice. Now, 
chil'en," he said, "dar's somebody coming; and you 
mustn't be 'fraid on him, 'cause I spects he '11 get us to dat 
ar camp I 's telling 'bout." 

And Tift', in a cracked and strained voice, which con- 
trasted oddly enough with the bell-like tones of the distant 
singer, commenced singing a part of an old song, which 
might, perhaps, have been used as a signal : 

" Hailing so stormiiy, 
Cold, stormy weder ; 
I want my true love all de day. 
Whar shall I find him ? whar shall I find him ? " 

The distant singer stopped his song, apparently to listen, 
and, while Tiff kept on singing, they could hear the crack- 
ling of approaching footsteps. At last Dred emerged to 
view. 

" So you Ve fled to the wilderness ? " he said. 

" Yes, .yes/' said Tiff, with a kind of giggle, " we had to 
come to it, dat ar woman was so aggravating on de chil'en. 
Of all de pizin critturs dat I knows on, dese j r er mean white 
women is de pizinest ! Dey an't got no manners, and no 
bringing up. Dey does n't begin fx know how tings ought 
fur to be done 'mong 'specable peop:_ So we just tuck 
to de bush." 

"You might have taken to a worse place, said Dred. 
" The Lord God giveth grace and glory to the trees of the 



174 THE PLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 

wood. And the time will come when the Lord will make a 
covenant of peace, and cause the evil beast to cease out 
of the land ; and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, 
and shall sleep in the woods ; and the tree of the field 
shall yield her fruit, and they shall be safe in the land, 
when the Lord hath broken the bands of their yoke, and 
delivered them out of the hands of those that serve them- 
selves of them." 

" And you tink dem good times coming, sure 'nough ? " 
said Tiff. 

" The Lord hath said it," said the other. " But first the 
day of vengeance must come." 

"I don't want no sich," said Tiff. "I want to live 
peaceable." 

Dred looked upon Tiff with an air of acquiescent pity, 
which had in it a slight shade of contempt, and said, as if 
in soliloquy, 

" Issachar is a strong ass, couching down between two 
burdens ; and he saw that rest was good, and the land that 
it was pleasant, and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became 
a servant unto tribute." 

"As to rest," said Tiff, " de Lord knows I an't had 
much of dat ar, if I be an ass. If I had a good, strong pack- 
saddle, I 'd like to trot dese yer chil'en out in some good 
cleared place." 

"Well,"- said Dred, "you have served him that was 
ready to perish, and not bewrayed him who wandered ; 
therefore the Lord will open for you a fenced city in the 
wilderness." 

" Jest so," said Tiff; " dat ar camp o' yourn is jest what 
I 's arter. I 's willin' to lend a hand to most anyting dat's 
good." 

"Well," said ^ cd, "the children are too tender to 
walk where wo must go. We must bear them as an eagle 
beareth ho, young. Come, my little man ! " 

An J, as Dred spoke, he stooped down and stretched 
out his hands to Teddy. His severe and gloomy counte- 



THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT. 175 

nance relaxed into a smile, and, to Tiff's surprise, the child 
went immediately to him, and allowed him to lift him in his 
arms. 

" Now, I 'd tought he 'd been sheered o' you ! " said 
Tiff. 

" Not he ! I never saw child or dog that I could n't make 
come to me. Hold fast, now, my little man ! " he said, seat- 
ing the boy on his shoulder. " Trees have long arms ; 
don't let them rake you off. Now, Tiff," he said, " you 
take the girl and come after, and when we come into the 
thick of the swamp, mind you step right in my tracks. 
Mind you don't set your foot on a tussock if I have n't set 
mine there before you ; because the moccasons lie on the 
tussocks." 

And thus saying, Dred and his companion began making 
their way towards the fugitive camp. 



CHAPTEK XVIII. 

THE CLEEICAL CONFEKENCE. 

A few days found Clayton in the city of , guest of 

the Rev. Dr. Cushing. He was a man in middle life ; of 
fine personal presence, urbane, courtly, gentlemanly. Dr. 
Gushing was a popular and much-admired clergyman, stand- 
ing high among his brethren in the ministry, and almost the 
idol of a large and flourishing church. A man of warm feel- 
ings, humane impulses, and fine social qualities, his ser- 
mons, beautifully written, and delivered with great fervor, 
often drew tears from the eyes of the hearers. His pastoral 
ministrations, whether at wedding or funeral, had a peculiar 
tenderness and unction. None was more capable than he 
of celebrating the holy fervor and self-denying sufferings of 
apostles and martyrs ; none more easily kindled by those 
devout hymns which describe the patience of the saints : 
but, with all this, for any practical emergency, Dr. Cushing 
was nothing of a soldier. There was a species of moral 
effeminacy about him, and the very luxuriant softness and 
richness of his nature unfitted him to endure hardness. 
He was known, in all his intercourse with his brethren, as 
a peace-maker, a modifier, and harmonizer. Nor did he 
scrupulous^ examine how much of the credit of this was 
due to a fastidious softness of nature, which made contro- 
versy disagreeable and wearisome. Nevertheless, Clayton 
was at first charmed with the sympathetic warmth with 
which he and his plans were received by his relative. He 
seemed perfectly to agree with Clayton in all his views of 
the terrible evils of the slave system, and was prompt with 



THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 177 

anecdotes and instances to enforce everything that he said. 
" Clayton was just in time/' he said ; " a number of his 
ministerial brethren were coming to-morrow, some of them 
from the northern states. Clayton should present his views 
to them." 

Dr. Cushing's establishment was conducted on the footing 
of the most liberal hospitality ; and that very evening the 
domestic circle was made larger by the addition of four or 
five ministerial brethren. Among these Clayton was glad 
to meet, once more, father Dickson. The serene, good 
man, seemed to bring the blessing of the gospel of peace 
with him wherever he went. 

Among others, was one whom we will more particularly 
introduce, as the Rev. Shubael Packthread. Dr. Shubael 
Packthread was a minister of a leading church, in one of 
the northern cities. Constitutionally, he was an amiable 
and kindly man, with very fair natural abilities, fairly im- 
proved by culture. Long habits, however, of theological 
and ecclesiastical controversy had cultivated a certain spe- 
cies of acuteness of mind into such disproportioned activity, 
that other parts of his intellectual and moral nature had 
been dwarfed and dwindled beside it. What might, under 
other circumstances, have been agreeable and useful tact, 
became in him a constant and life-long habit of stratagem. 
While other people look upon words as vehicles for 
conveying ideas, Dr. Packthread regarded them only as 
mediums for concealment. His constant study, on every 
controverted topic, was so to adjust language that, with 
the appearance of the utmost precision, it should always 
be capable of a double interpretation. He was a cunning 
master of all forms of indirection; of all phrases by which 
people appear to say what they do not say, and not to say 
what they do say. 

He was an adept also in all the mechanism of ecclesiasti- 
cal debate, of the intricate labyrinths of heresy-hunting, of 
every scheme by which more simple and less advised breth- 
ren, speaking with ignorant sincerity, could be entrapped 



178 THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 

and deceived. He was au fait also in all compromise 
measures, in which two parties unite in one form of words, 
meaning by them exactly opposite ideas, and call the 
agreement a union. lie was also expert in all those parlia- 
mentary modes, in synod or general assembly, by which 
troublesome discussions could be avoided or disposed of, 
and credulous brethren made to believe they had gained 
points which they had not gained ; by which discussions 
could be at will blinded with dusty clouds of misrepresenta- 
tion, or trailed on through interminable marshes of weari- 
ness, to accomplish some manoeuvre of ecclesiastical tactics. 

Dr. Packthread also was master of every means by which 
the influence of opposing parties might be broken. He 
could spread a convenient report on necessary occasions, 
by any of those forms which do not assert, but which dis- 
seminate a slander quite as certainly as if they did. If it was 
necessary to create a suspicion of the orthodoxy, or of the 
piety, or even of the morality, of an opposing brother, Dr. 
Packthread understood how to do it in the neatest and most 
tasteful manner. He was an infallible judge whether it 
should be accomplished by innocent interrogations, as to 

whether you had heard " so and so of Mr. ;" or, by 

" charitably expressed hopes that you had not heard so and 
so ;" or, by gentle suggestions, whether it would not be as 
well to inquire ; or, by shakes of the head, and lifts of the 
eyes, at proper intervals in conversation ; or, lastly, by 
silence when silence became the strongest as well as safest 
form of assertion. 

In person, he was rather tall, thin, and the lines of his 
face appeared, every one of them, to be engraved by caution 
and care. In his boyhood and youth, the man had had a 
trick of smiling and laughing without considering why ; 
the grace of prudence, however, had corrected all this. He 
never did either, in these days, without understanding pre- 
cisely what he was about. His face was a part of his stock 
in trade, and he understood the management of it remark- 
ably well. He knew precisely all the gradations of smile 



THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 179 

which were useful for accomplishing- different purposes. 
The solemn smile, the smile of inquiry, the smile affirmative, 
the smile suggestive, the smile of incredulity, and the smile 
of innocent credulity, which encouraged the simple-hearted 
narrator to go on unfolding himself to the brother, who sat 
quietly behind his face, as a spider does behind his web, 
waiting till his unsuspecting friend had tangled himself in 
incautious, impulsive, and of course contradictory meshes 
of statement, which were, in some future hour, in the most 
gentle and Christian spirit, to be tightened around the incau- 
tious captive, while as much blood was sucked as the good 
of the cause demanded. 

It is not to be supposed that the Eev. Dr. Packthread, 
so skilful and adroit as we have represented him, failed in 
the necessary climax of such skill — that of deceiving himself. 
Far from it. Truly and honestly Dr. Packthread thought 
himself one of the hundred and forty and four thousand, 
who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, in whose 
mouth is found no guile. Prudence he considered the chief 
of Christian graces. He worshipped Christian prudence, and 
the whole category of accomplishments which we have 
described he considered as the fruits of it. His prudence, 
in fact, served him all the purposes that the stock of the 
tree did to the ancient idolater. " With part thereof he 
eateth flesh ; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied ; yea, he 
warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen 
the fire : and the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his 
graven image ; he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth 
it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me ; for thou art 
my god." 

JSTo doubt, Dr. Packthread expected to enter heaven by 
the same judicious arrangement by which he had lived on 
earth ; and so he went on, from year to year, doing deeds 
which even a political candidate would blush at ; violating 
the most ordinary principles of morality and honor ; while 
he sung hymns, made prayers, and administered sacra- 
n. 16 



180 THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 

merits, expecting, no doubt, at last to enter heaven by some 
neat arrangement of words used in two senses. 

Dr. Packthread's cautious agreeableness of manner 
formed a striking contrast to the innocent and almost child- 
like simplicity with which father Dickson, in his threadbare 
coat, appeared at his side. Almost as poor in this world's 
goods as his Master, father Dickson's dwelling had been a 
simple one-story cottage, in all, save thrift and neatness, 
very little better than those of the poorest ; and it was 
a rare year when a hundred dollars passed through his 
hands. He had seen the time when he had not even where- 
withal to take from the office a necessary letter. He had 
seen his wife suffer for medicine and comforts, in sickness. 
He had himself ridden without overcoat through the chill 
months of winter ; but all these things he had borne as the 
traveller bears a storm on the way to his home ; and it was 
beautiful to see the unenvying, frank, simple pleasure which 
he seemed to feel in the elegant and abundant home of his 
brother, and in the thousand appliances of hospitable com- 
fort by which he was surrounded. The spirit within us that 
lusteth to envy had been chased from his bosom by the 
expulsive force of a higher love ; and his simple and un- 
studied acts of constant good-will showed that simple Chris- 
tianity can make the gentleman. Father Dickson was 
regarded by his ministerial brethren with great affection 
and veneration, though wholly devoid of any ecclesiastical 
wisdom. They were fond of using him much as they did 
their hymn-books and testaments, for their better hours of 
devotion ; and equally apt to let slip his admonitions, when 
they came to the hard, matter-of-fact business of ecclesiasti- 
cal discussion and management ; yet they loved well to 
have him with them, as they felt that, like a psalm or a text, 
his presence in some sort gave sanction to what they did. 

In due time there was added to the number of the circle our 
joyous, out-spoken friend, father Bonnie, fresh from a recent 
series of camp-meetings in a distant part of the state, and 
ready at a minute's notice for either a laugh or a prayer. 



THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 181 

Very little of the stereotype print of his profession had he ; 
the sort of wild woodland freedom of his life giving to his 
manners and conversation a tone of sylvan roughness, of 
which Dr. Packthread evidently stood in considerable doubt. 
Father Bonnie's early training had been that of what is 
called, in common parlance, a "self-made man." He was 
unsophisticated by Greek or Latin, and had rather a con- 
tempt for the forms of the schools, and a joyous determina- 
tion to say what he pleased on all occasions. There were 
also present one or two of the leading Presbyterian minis- 
ters of the North. They had, in fact, come for a private and 
confidential conversation with Dr. Gushing concerning the 
reunion of the New School Presbyterian Church with the Old. 

It may be necessary to apprise some of our readers, 
not conversant with American ecclesiastical history, that 
the Presbyterian church of America is divided into two 
parties in relation to certain theological points, and that the 
adherents on either side call themselves old or new school. 
Some years since, these two parties divided, and each of 
them organized its own general assembly. 

It so happened that all the slaveholding interest, with 
some very inconsiderable exceptions, went into the old 
school body. The great majority of the new school body 
were avowedly anti-slavery men, according to a solemn 
declaration, which committed the whole Presbyterian church 
to those sentiments, in the year eighteen hundred and 
eighteen. And the breach between the two sections was 
caused cprite as much by the difference of feeling between 
the northern and southern branches on the subject of 
slavery, as by any differences of doctrine. 

After the first jar of separation was over, thoughts of 
reunion began to arise on both sides, and to be quietly dis- 
cussed among leading minds. 

There is a power in men of a certain class of making an 
organization of any kind, whether it be political or eccle- 
siastical, an object of absorbing and individual devotion. 
Most men feel empty and insufficient of themselves, and 



182 THE CLEEICAL CONFERENCE. . 

find a need to ballast their own insufficiency by attaching 
themselves to something of more weight than they are. 
They put their stock of being out at interest, and invest 
themselves somewhere and in something ; and the love 
of wife or child is not more absorbing than the love of 
the bank where the man has invested himself. It is true, 
this power is a noble one ; because thus a man may pass out 
of self, and choose God, the great good of all, for his portion. 
But human weakness falls below this ; and, as the idolater 
worships the infinite and unseen under a visible symbol till 
it effaces the memory of what is signified, so men begin 
by loving institutions for God's sake, which come at last to 
stand with them in the place of God. 

Such was the Rev. Dr. Calker. He was a man of power- 
ful though narrow mind, of great energy and efficiency, and 
of that capability of abstract devotion which makes the 
soldier or the statesman. He was earnestly and sincerely 
devout, as he understood devotion. He began with loving 
the church for God's sake, and ended with loving her bet- 
ter than God. And, by the church, he meant the organiza- 
tion of the Presbyterian church in the United States of 
America. Her cause, in his eyes, was God's cause ; her 
glory, God's glory ; her success, the indispensable condi- 
tion of the millennium ; her defeat, the defeat of all that 
was good for the human race. His devotion to her was 
honest and unselfish. 

Of course Dr. Calker estimated all interests by their influ- 
ence on the Presbyterian church. He weighed every cause 
in the balance of her sanctuary. "What promised extension 
and power to her, that he supported. What threatened de- 
feat or impediment, that he was ready to sacrifice. He would, 
at any day, sacrifice himself and all his interests to that cause, 
and he felt equally willing to sacrifice others and their inter- 
ests. The anti-slavery cause he regarded with a simple eye 
to this question. It was a disturbing force, weakening the 
harmony among brethren, threatening disruption and dis- 
union. He regarded it, therefore, with distrust and aversion 



THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 183 

He would read no facts on that side of the question. And 
when the discussions of zealous brethren would bring fright- 
ful and appalling statements into the general assembly, he 
was too busy in seeking what could be said to ward off 
their force, to allow them to have much influence on his 
own mind. Gradually he came to view the whole subject 
with dislike, as a pertinacious intruder in the path of the 
Presbyterian church. That the whole train of cars, laden 
with the interests of the world for all time, should bo 
stopped by a ragged, manacled slave across the track, was 
to him an impertinence and absurdity. What was he, that 
the Presbyterian church should be divided and hindered for 
him ? So thought the exultant thousands who followed 
Christ, once, when the blind beggar raised his importunate 
clamor, and they bade him hold his peace. So thought 
not he, who stopped the tide of triumphant success, that 
he might call the neglected one to himself, and lay his 
hands upon him. 

Dr. Calker had from year to year opposed the agitation 
of the slavery question in the general assembly of the Pres- 
byterian church, knowing well that it threatened disunion. 
When, in spite of all his efforts, disunion came, he bent his 
energies to the task of reuniting ; and he was the most 
important character in the present caucus. 

Of course a layman, and a young man also, would feel 
some natural hesitancy in joining at once in the conversa- 
tion of those older than himself. Clayton, therefore, sat at 
the hospitable breakfast-table of Dr. Cushing rather as an 
auditor than as a speaker. 

" Now, brother Cushing," said Dr. Calker, "the fact is, 
there never was any need of this disruption. It has crip- 
pled the power of the church, and given the enemy occasion 
to speak reproachfully. Our divisions are playing right 
into the hands of the Methodists and Baptists ; and ground 
that we might hold, united, is going into their hands every 
year.'' 

"I know it," said Dr. Cushing, "and we Southern 
n. 16* 



184 THE CLEEICAL CONFERENCE. 

brethren mourn over it, I assure you. The fact is, brother 
Calker, there 's no such doctrinal division, after all. Why, 
there are brethren among us that are as new school as Dr. 
Draper, and we don't meddle with them." 

" Just so," replied Dr. Calker; " and we have true-blue 
old school men among us." 

"I think," said Dr. Packthread, "that, with suitable 
care, a document might be drawn up which will meet the 
views on both sides. You see, we must get the extreme 
men on both sides to agree to hold still. Why, now, I am 
called new school ; but I wrote a set of definitions once, 
which I showed to Dr. Pyke, who is as sharp as anybody on 
the other side, and he said, 'He agreed with them entirely.' 
Those N H men are incautious." 

" Yes," said Dr. Calker, " and it's just dividing the re- 
sources and the influence of the church for nothing. Now, 
those discussions as to the time when moral agency begins 
are, after all, of no great account in practical workings." 

"Well," said Dr. Gushing, "it's, after all, nothing but 
the radical tone of some of your abolition fanatics that 
stands in the way. These slavery discussions in general as- 
sembly have been very disagreeable and painful to our peo- 
ple, particularly those of the Western brethren. They don't 
understand us, nor the delicacy of our position. They don't 
know that we need to be let alone in order to effect any- 
thing. Now, I am for trusting to the softening, meliorating 
influences of the Gospel. The kingdom of God cometh not 
with observation. I trust that, in his mysterious provi- 
dence, the Lord will see fit, in his own good time, to remove 
this evil of slavery. Meanwhile, brethren ought to possess 
their souls in patience." 

" Brother Gushing," said father Dickson, "since the as- 
sembly of eighteen hundred and eighteen, the number of 
slaves has increased in this country four-fold. New slave 
states have been added, and a great, regular system of 
breeding and trading organized, which is filling all our large 
cities with trading-houses. The ships of our ports go out 



THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 185 

as slavers, carrying' loads of miserable creatures down to 
New Orleans ; and there is a constant increase of this traffic 
through the country. This very summer I was at the death- 
bed of a poor girl, only seventeen or eighteen, who had been 
torn from all her friends and sent off with a coflie ; a.id she 
died there in the wilderness. It does seem to me, brother 
Cushing, that this silent plan does not answer. We are not 
half as near to emancipation, apparently, as we were in 
eighteen hundred and eighteen." 

" Has there ever been any attempt," said Clayton, 
" among the Christians of your denominations, to put a stop 
to this internal slave-trade ?" 

" Well," said Dr. Cushing, " I don't know that there has, 
any further than general preaching against injustice.'-' 

" Have you ever made any movement in the church to 
prevent the separation of families ? " said Clayton. 

" No, not exactly. We leave that thing to the con- 
science of individuals. The synods have always enjoined it 
on professors of religion to treat their servants according to 
the spirit of the Gospel." 

" Has the church ever endeavored to influence the legis- 
lature to allow general education ? " said Clayton. 

" No ; that subject is fraught with difficulties," said Dr. 
Cushing. " The fact is, if these rabid Northern abolitionists 
would let us alone, we might, perhaps, make a movement on 
some of these subjects. But they excite the minds of our 
people, and get them into such a state of inflammation, that 
we cannot do anything." 

Daring all the time that father Dickson and Clayton had 
been speaking, Dr. Calker had been making minutes with 
a pencil on a small piece of paper, for future use. It was 
always disagreeable to him to hear of slave-coffles and the 
internal slave-trade ; and, therefore, when anything was 
ever said on these topics, he would generally employ him- 
self in some other way than listening. Father Dickson he 
had known of old as being remarkably pertinacious on 
those subjects ; and, therefore, when he began to speak, he 



186 THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 

took the opportunity of jotting down a few ideas for a future 
exigency. He now looked up from his paper, and spoke : 

"0, those fellows are without any reason — perfectly 
wild and crazy ! They are monomaniacs ! They cannot see 
but one subject anywhere. Now, there ; s father Ruskin, of 
Ohio — there 's nothing can be done with that man ! I have 
had him at my house hours and hours, talking to him, and 
laying it all down before him, and showing him what great 
interests he was compromising. But it did n't do a bit of 
good. He just harps on one eternal string. Now, it 's all 
the pushing and driving of these fellows in the general 
assembly that made the division, in my opinion." 

" We kept it off a good many years," said Dr. Pack- 
thread ; " and it took all our ingenuity to do it, I assure 
you. Now, ever since eighteen hundred and thirty-five, 
these fellows have been pushing and crowding in every as- 
sembly ; and we have stood faithfully in our lot, to keep the 
assembly from doing anything which could give offence to 
our Southern brethren. We have always been particular to 
put them forward in our public services, and to show them 
every imaginable deference. I think our brethren ought to 
consider how hard we have worked. We had to be instant 
in season and out of season, I can tell you. I think I may 
claim some little merit," continued the doctor, with a cau- 
tious smile spreading over his face ; " if I have any talent, it 
is a capacity in the judicious use of language. Now, some- 
times brethren will wrangle a whole day, till they all get 
tired and sick of a subject ; and then just let a man who 
understands the use of terms step in, and sometimes, by 
omitting a single word, he will alter the whole face of an 
affair. I remember one year those fellows were driving us 
up to make some sort of declaration about slavery. And we 
really had to do it, because it would n't do to have the whole 
West split off ; and there was a three days' fight, till finally 
we got the thing pared down to the lowest terms. We 
thought we would pass a resolution that slavery was a 
moral evil, if the Southern brethren like that better than 



THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 187 

the old way of calling- it a sin, and we really were getting 
on quite harmoniously, when some of the Southern ultras 
took it up ; and they said that moral evil meant the same as 
sin, and that would imply a censure on the brethren. Well, 
it got late, and some of the hottest ones were tired and had 
gone off; and I just quietly drew my pen across the word 
moral, and read the resolution, and it went unanimously. 
Most ministers, you see, are willing- to call slavery an evil — 
the trouble lay in that word moral. Well, that capped the 
crater for that year. But, then, they were at it again the 
very next time they came together, for those fellows never 
sleep. Well, then we took a new turn. I told the brethren 
we had better get it on to the ground of the reserved rights 
of presbyteries and synods, and decline interfering. Well, 
then, that was going very well, but some of the brethren 
very injudiciously got up a resolution in the assembly 
recommending disciplinary measures for dancing. That 
was passed without much thought, because, you know, 
there 's no great interest involved in dancing, and, of course, 
there 's nobody to oppose such a resolution ; but, then, it 
was very injudicious, under the circumstances ; for the abo- 
litionists made a handle of it immediately, and wanted tc 
know why we could n't as well recommend a discipline fot 
slavery ; because, you see, dancing is n't a sin, per se, any 
more than slavery is ; and they haven't done blowing their 
trumpets over us to this day." 

Here the company rose from breakfast, and, according to 
the good old devout custom, seated themselves for family 
worship. Two decent, well-dressed black women were 
called in, and also a negro man. At father Dickson's request, 
all united in singing the following hymn : 

" Am I a soldier of the cross, 

A follower of the Lamb ; 
And shall I fear to own his cause, 

Or blush to speak his name ? 
Must I be carried to the skies 

On flowery beds of ease, 



188 THE GLEEICAL CONFERENCE. 

While others fought to win the prize, 

And sailed through bloody seas ? 
Sure I must light if I would reign ; 

Increase my courage, Lord ! 
I '11 bear the cross, endure the shame, 

Supported by thy word. 
The saints, in all this glorious war, 

Shall conquer, though they die ; 
They see the victory from afar, 

With faith's discerning eye. 
When that illustrious day shall rise, 

And all thine armies shine 
In robes of victory through the skies, 

The glory shall be thine." 

Anybody who had seen the fervor with which these 
brethren now united in singing these stanzas, might have 
supposed them a company of the primitive martyrs and con- 
fessors, who, having drawn the sword and thrown away the 
scabbard, were now ready for a millennial charge on the devil 
and all his works. None sung with more heartiness than 
Dr. Packthread, for his natural feelings were quick and 
easily excited ; nor did he dream he was not a soldier of the 
cross, and that the species of skirmishes he had been de- 
scribing were not all in accordance with the spirit of the 
hymn. Had you interrogated him, he would have shown 
you a syllogistic connection between the glory of God and 
the best good of the universe, and the course he had been 
pursuing. So that, if father Dickson had supposed the 
hymn would act as a gentle suggestion, he was very much 
mistaken. As to Dr. Calker, he joined, with enthusiasm, 
applying it all the while to the enemies of the Presbyterian 
church, in the same manner as Ignatius Loyola might 
have sung it, applying it to Protestantism. Dr. Cushing 
considered the conflict described as wholly an internal one, 
and thus all joined alike in swelling the chorus : 

" A soldier for Jesus, hallelujah ! 
Love and serve the Lord." 



THE CLERICAL CONFERENCE. 189 

Father Dickson read from the Bible as follows : 

" Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our consciences, 
that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wis- 
dom, but by the grace of God, we have our conversation in 
the world." 

Father Dickson had many gentle and quiet ways, peculiar 
to himself, of suggesting his own views to his brethren. 
Therefore, having read these verses, he paused, and asked 
Dr. Packthread "if he did not think there was danger of 
departing from this spirit, and losing the simplicity of 
Christ, when we conduct Christian business on worldly 
principle." 

Dr. Packthread cordially assented, and continued to the 
same pui'pose in a strain so edifying as entirely to exhaust 
the subject ; and Dr. Calker, who was thinking of the busi- 
ness that was before them, giving an imeasy motion here, 
they immediately united in the devotional exercises, which 
were led with great fervor by Dr. Cushing. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE EESULT. 

After the devotional services were over, Dr. Calker pro- 
ceeded immediately with the business that he had in his 
mind. '-' Now, brother Cashing," he said, " there never 
was any instrumentality raised up by Providence to bring 
in the latter day equal to the Presbyterian church in the 
United States of America. It is the great hope of the world ; 
for here, in this country, we are trying the great experi- 
ment for all ages ; and, undoubtedly, the Presbyterian church 
comes the nearest perfection of any form of organization 
possible to our frail humanity. It is the ark of the covenant 
for this nation, and for all nations. Missionary enterprises 
to foreign countries, tract societies, home missionary, sea- 
men's friend societies, Bible societies, Sunday-school 
unions, all are embraced in its bosom ; and it grows in a 
free country, planted by God's own right hand, with such 
laws and institutions as never were given to mortal man 
before. It is carrying us right on to the millennium ; and all 
we want is union. United, we stand the most glorious, the 
most powerful institution in the world. Now, there was no 
need for you Southern brethren to be so restive as you 
were. We were doing all we could to keep down the fire, 
and keep things quiet, and you ought not to have bolted 
so. Since you have separated from us, what have we done ? 
I suppose you thought we were going to blaze out in a 
regular abolition fury ; but you see we have n't done it. 
We have n't done any more than when we were united. 
Just look at our minutes, and you '11 see it. We have 



THE RESULT. 191 

strong and determined abolitionists among us, and they are 
constantly urging and pushing. There have been great 
public excitements on the subject of slavery, and we have 
been plagued and teased to declare ourselves ; but we 
have n't done it in a single instance — not one. You see 
that Euskin and his clique have gone off from us, because 
we would hold still. It is true that now and then we had 
to let some anti-slavery man preach an opening sermon, or 
something of that sort ; but, then, opening sermons are 
nothing ; they don't commit anybody ; they don't show the 
opinion of anybody but the speaker. In fact, they don't 
express any more than that declaration of eighteen hundred 
and eighteen, which stands unrepealed on your records, as 
well as on ours. Of course, we are all willing to say that 
slavery is an evil, ' entirely inconsistent with the spirit of 
the Gospel,' and all that, because that 's on your own books ; 
we only agree to sa}' nothing about it, nowadays, in our 
public capacity, because what was said in eighteen hundred 
and eighteen is all-sufficient, and prevents the odium and 
scandal of public controversy now. Now, for proof that 
what I have just said is true, look at the facts. We had 
three presbyteries in slaveholding states when we started, 
and now we have over twenty, with from fifteen to twenty 
thousand members. That must show you what our hearts 
are on this subject. And, have we not always been making- 
overtures for reunion — really humbling ourselves to you, 
brethren ? Now, I say you ought to take these facts into 
account ; our slaveholding members and churches are left 
as perfectly undisturbed, to manage in their own way, as 
yours. To be sure, some of those Western men will fire 
off a remonstrance once a year, or something of that sort. 
Just let them do that ; it keeps them easy and contented. 
And, so long as there is really no interfering in the way of 
discipline or control, what harm is done ? You ought to 
bear some with the Northern brethren, unreasonable as they 
are ; and we may well have a discussion every year, to let 
off the steam. 7 ' 
ii. IT 



192 THE RESULT. 

" For my part/' said father Bonnie, " I want union, I 'm 
sure. I'd tar and feather those Northern abolitionists, if 
I could get at them ! " 

"Figuratively, I suppose," said Dr. Packthread, with a 
gentle smile. 

"Yes, figuratively and literally too/' said father Bonnie, 
laughing. " Let them come down here, and see what they '11 
get! If they will set the country in a blaze, they ought to 
be the first^ones to be warmed at the fire. For my part, 
brethren, I must say that you lose time and strength by 
your admissions, all of you. You don't hit the buck in the 
eye. I thank the Lord that I am delivered from the bondage 
of thinking slavery a sin, or an evil, in any sense. Our abo- 
litionist brethren have done one good thing ; they have 
driven us up to examine the Scriptures, and there we find 
that slavery is not only permitted, but appointed, enjoined. 
It is a divine institution. If a Northern abolitionist comes 
at me now, I shake the Bible at him, and say, ' Nay, but, 
man, who art thou that repliest against God ? ' Hath not 
the potter power over the clay, to make one lump to honor, 
and another to dishonor ? I tell you brethren, it blazes from 
every page of the Scriptures. You '11 never do anything 
till you get on to that ground. A man's conscience is 
always hanging on to his skirts ; he goes on just like a bear 
with a trap on his legs — can't make any progress that 
way. You have got to get your feet on the rock of ages, I 
can tell you, and get the trap off your leg. There 's noth- 
ing like the study of the Scriptures to clear a fellow's 
mind." 

"Well, then," said Clayton, "would it not be well to 
repeal the laws which forbid the slaves to learn to read, and 
put the Scriptures into their hands ? These laws are the 
cause of a great deal of misery and immorality among the 
slaves, and they furnish abolitionists with some of their 
strongest arguments." 

"0," said father Bonnie, "that will never do, in the 
world ! It will expose them to whole floods of abolition 



THE EESULT. 193 

and incendiary documents, corrupt their minds, and make 
them discontented." 

" Well," said Dr. Cushing, " I have read Dr. CarneV 
book, and I must say that the scriptural argument lies, in 
my mind, on the other side." 

" Hang Dr. Games' book ! " said father Bonnie. 

" Figuratively, I suppose," said Dr. Packthread. 

" Why, Dr. Carnes' much learning has made him mad 1 " 
said father Bonnie. " I don't believe anything that can't 
be got out of a plain English Bible. When a fellow goes 
shuffling oil' in a Hebrew fog, in a Latin fog, in a Greek fog, 
I say, ' Ah, my boy, you are treed ! you had better come 
down ! ' Why, is it not plain enough to any reader of the 
Bible, how the apostles talked to the slaves ? They did n't 
fill their heads with stuff about the rights of man. Now, 
see here, just at a venture," he said, making a dive at a 
pocket-Bible that lay on the table, — " now, just let me read 
you, ' Blasters, give unto your servants that which is just and 
equal.' Sho ! sho ! that isn't the place I was thinking of. 
It's here, 'Servants, obey your masters ! ' There's into 
them, you see ! ' Obey your masters that are in the flesh.' 
Now, these abolitionists won't even allow that we are 
masters ! " 

"Perhaps," said Clayton, quietly, "if the slaves could 
read, they 'd pay more attention to the first passage that 
you favored us with." 

" 0, likely," said father Bonnie, "because, you see, their 
interests naturally would lead them to pervert Scripture. 
If it wasn't for that perverting influence of self-love, I, for 
my part, would be willing enough to put the Scriptures into 
their hands." 

" I suppose," said Clayton, " there 's no such danger in 
the case of us masters, is there ? " 

" I say," said father Bonnie, not noticing the interrup- 
tion, "Cushing, you ought to read Fletcher's book. That 
book, sir, is a sweater, I can tell you ; I sweat over it, I 
know ; but it does up this Greek and Hebrew work 



194 THE RESULT. 

thoroughly, I promise you. Though I can't read Greek or 
Hebrew, I see there 's heaps of it there. Why, he takes 
you clear back to the creation of the world, and drags you 
through all the history and literature of the old botherers 
of all ages, and he comes down on the fathers like forty. 
There 's Chrysostom and Tertullian, and all the rest of those 
old cocks, and the old Greek philosophers, besides, — Plato, 
and Aristotle, and all the rest of them. If a fellow wants 
learning, there he '11 get it. I declare, I 'd rather cut my 
way through the Dismal Swamp in dog-days ! But I was 
determined to be thorough ; so I off coat, and went at it. 
And, there 's no mistake about it, Cushing, you must get 
the book. You '11 feel so much better, if you '11 settle your 
mind on that point. I never allow myself to go trailing 
along with anything hanging by the gills. I am an out-and- 
outer. Walk up to the captain's office, and settle ! That 's 
what I say." 

"We shall all have to do that, one of these days," said 
father Dickson, "and maybe we shall find it one thing to 
settle with the clerk, and another to settle with the cap- 
tain ! " 

"Well, brother Dickson, you needn't look at me with 
any of your solemn faces! I 'm settled, now." 

"For my part," said Dr. Packthread, "I think, instead 
of condemning slavery in the abstract, we ought to direct 
our attention to its abuses." 

" And what do you consider its abuses ? " said Clayton. 

" Why, the separation of families, for instance," said Dr. 
Packthread, "and the forbidding of education." 

"You think, then," said Clayton, "that the slave ought 
to have a legal right to his family ? " 

"Yes." 

" Of course, he ought to have the legal means of main- 
taining it ? " 

"Yes." 

" Then, of course, he ought to be able to enter suit 



THE RESULT. 195 

when this right is violated, and to bear testimony in a court 
of justice ? " 

" Yes." 

" And do you think that the master ought to give him 
what is just and equal, in the way of wages ? " 

"Certainly, in one shape or another," said Dr. Pack- 
thread. 

" And ought the slave to have the means of enforcing this 
right ? " 

" Certainly." 

" Then the slave ought to be able to hold property ? " 

" Yes." 

" And he should have the legal right to secure education, 
if he desires it ? " 

" Yes." 

" Well," said Clayton, " when the slave has a legal exist- 
ence and legal rights, can hold property and defend it, 
acquire education and protect his family relations, he ceases 
to be a slave ; for, slavery consists in the fact of legal 
incapacity for any of these things. It consists in mak- 
ing a man a dead, inert substance in the hands of another, 
holding men pro nullis, pro mortuis. What you call reform- 
ing abuses, is abolishing slavery. It is in this very way 
that I wish to seek its abolition, and I desire the aid of 
the church and ministry in doing it. Now, Dr. Pack- 
thread, what efforts has the church as yet made to reform 
these abuses of slavery ? " 

There was a silence of some minutes. At last Dr. Cush- 
ing replied, 

" There has been a good deal of effort made in oral reli-. 
gious instruction." 

" 0, yes," said father Bonnie, " our people have been at 
it with great zeal in our part of the country. I have a class, 
myself, that I have been instructing in the Assembly's Cat- 
echism, in the oral way ; and the synods have taken it up, 
and they are preaching the Gospel to them, and writing 
catechisms for them." 
n. IT* 



196 THE RESULT. 

" But," said Clayton, " would it not be best to give them 
a legal ability to obey the Gospel ? Is there any use in 
teaching the sanctity of marriage, unless you obtain for 
husbands and wives the legal right to live faithful to each 
other ? It seems to me only cruelty to awaken conscience 
on that subject, without giving the protection and assistance 
of law.' 7 

■ "What he says is very true," said Dr. Gushing, with 
emphasis. "We ministers are called to feel the necessity 
of that with regard to our slave church-members. You 
see, we are obliged to preach unlimited obedience to mas- 
ters ; and yet, — why, it was only last week, a very excel- 
lent pious mulatto woman in my church came to me to know 
what she should do. Her master was determined she 
should live with him as a mistress ; yet she has a husband 
on the place. How am I to advise her ? The man is a 
very influential man, and capable of making a good deal of 
commotion ; besides which, she will gain nothing by resist- 
ance, but to be sold away to some other master, who will do 
worse. Now, this is a very trying case to a minister. 
I 7 m sure, if anything could be done, 1 7 d be glad ; but the 
fact is, the moment a person begins to move in the least to 
reform these abuses, he is called an abolitionist, and the 
whole community is down on him at once. That 7 s the state 
these northern fanatics have got us into." 

" 0, yes," said Dr. Baskum, a leading minister, who had 
recently come in. "Besides, a man cjxn't do everything! 
We 've got as much as we can stagger under on our shoul- 
ders, now. We 7 ve got the building up of the church to 
•attend to. That 7 s the great instrumentality which at last 
will set everything straight. We must do as the apostles 
did, — confine ourselves to preaching the Gospel, and the 
Gospel will bring everything else in its train. The world 
can't be made over in a day. We must do one thing at a 
time. We can 7 t afford, just at present, to tackle in with all 
our other difficulties the odium and misrepresentation of 
such a movement. The minute we begin to do anything 



THE RESULT. 197 

which looks like restraining the rights of masters, the cry 
of church and state and abolition will be raised, and we 
shall be swamped ! " 

" But," said father Dickson, "is n't it the right way first 
to find out our duty and do it, and then leave the result with 
God ? Ought we to take counsel of flesh and blood in mat- 
ters like these ? " 

" Of course not," said Dr. Packthread. "But there is 
a wise way and an unwise way of doing things. We are 
to consider the times, and only undertake such works as the 
movements of Divine Providence seem to indicate. I don't 
wish to judge for brethren. A time may come when it will 
be their duty to show themselves openly on this subject ; 
but, in order to obtain a foothold for the influences of the 
Gospel to work on, it may be necessary to bear and forbear 
with many evils. Under the present state of things, I hope 
many of the slaves are becoming hopefully pious. Brethren 
seem to feel that education will be attended with dangers. 
Probably it might. It would seem desirable to secure the 
family relations of the slaves, if it could be done without 
too much sacrifice of more important things. After all, the 
kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is not of this world. The 
apostles entered no public protest against the abuses of 
slavery, that we read of." 

" It strikes me," said Clayton, " that there is a difference 
between our position under a republican government, — in 
which we vote for our legislators, and, in fact, make the 
laws ourselves, and have the admitted right to seek their 
repeal, — and that of the apostles, who were themselves 
slaves, and could do nothing about the laws. We make 
our own laws, and every one of us is responsible for any 
unjust law which we do not do our best to alter. We have 
the right to agitate, write, print, and speak, and bring up 
the public mind to the point of reform ; and, therefore, we 
are responsible if unjust laws are not repealed." 

" Well," said father Dickson, " God forgive me that I 
have been so remiss in times past ! Henceforth, whatever 



198 THE KESULT. 

others may do, I will not confer with flesh and blood ; but I 
will go forth and declare the word of the Lord plainly to 
this people, and show unto the house of Judah their trans- 
gressions. And now I have one thing to say to our dear 
Northern brethren. I mourn over the undecided course 
which they take. Brethren in slave states are beset with 
many temptations. The whole course of public opinion is 
against them. They need that their Northern brethren 
should stand firm, and hold up their hands. Alas ! how dif- 
ferent has been their course ! Their apologies for this 
mighty sin have weakened us more than all things put 
together. Public opinion is going back. The church is be- 
coming corrupted. Ministers are drawn into connivance 
with deadly sin. Children and youth are being ruined by 
habits of early tyranny. Our land is full of slave-prisons ; 
and the poor trader — no man careth for his soul! Our 
poor whites are given up to ignorance and licentiousness ; 
and our ministers, like our brother Bonnie, here, begin to 
defend this evil from the Bible. Brother Calker, here, talks 
of the Presbyterian church. Alas ! in her skirts is found 
the blood of poor innocents, and she is willing, for the sake 
of union, to destroy them for whom Christ died. Brethren, 
you know not what you do. You enjoy the blessing of liv- 
ing in a land uncursed by any such evils. Your churches, 
your schools, and all your industrial institutions, are going 
forward, while ours are going backward ; and you do not 
feel it, because you do not live among us. But take care ! 
One part of the country cannot become demoralized, without, 
at last, affecting the other. The sin you cherish and 
strengthen by your indifference, may at last come back in 
judgments that may visit even you. I pray Cod to avert it ! 
But, as God is just, I tremble for you and for us ! Well, 
good-by, brethren ; I must be on my way. You will not 
listen to me, and my soul cannot come into your counsels. " 

And father Dickson rose to depart. 

" 0, come, come, now, brother, don't take it so seriously ! " 



THE EESULT. 199 

said Dr. Gushing. " Stay, at least, and spend the day with 
us, and let us have a little Christian talk." 

" I must go," said father Dickson. " I have an appoint- 
ment to preach, which I must keep, for this evening, and so 
I must bid you farewell. I hoped to do something by com- 
ing here ; but I see that it is all in vain. Farewell, brethren ; 
I shall pray for you." 

" Well, father Dickson, I should like to talk more with 
you on this subject," said Dr. Gushing. " Do come again. 
It is very difficult to see the path of duty in these mat- 
ters." 

Poor Dr. Gushing was one of those who are destined, like 
stationary ships, forever to float up and down in one spot, 
only useful in marking the ebb and flood of the tide. Af- 
fection, generosity, devotion, he had — everything but the 
power to move on. 

Clayton, who had seen at once that nothing was to be 
done or gained, rose, and said that his business was also 
pressing, and that he would accompany father Dickson on 
his way. 

" What a good fellow Dickson is ! " said Cushing, after 
he returned to the room. 

"He exhibits a very excellent spirit," said Dr. Pack- 
thread. 

" 0, Dickson Avould do well enough," said Dr. Calker, 
"if he was n't a monomaniac. That's what's the matter 
with him ! But when he gets to going on this subject, I 
never hear what he says. I know it 's no use to reason 
with him — entirely time lost. I have heard all these 
things over and over again." 

"But I wish," said Dr. Cushing, " something could be 
done." 

" Well, who does n't ? " said Dr. Calker. " We all wish 
something could be clone ; but, if it can't, it can't ; there 's 
the end of it. So now let us proceed, and look into busi- 
ness a little more particularly." 

"After all," said Dr. Packthread, "you old school breth- 



200 THE RESULT. 

ren have greatly the advantage of us. Although you have 
a few poor good souls, like this Dickson, they are in so in- 
significant a minority that they can do nothing — can't even 
get into the general assembly, or send in a remonstrance, 
or petition, or anything else ; so that you are never plagued 
as we are. We cannot even choose a moderator from the 
slaveholding states, for fear of an explosion ; but you can 
have slaveholding moderators, or anything else that will 
promote harmony and union." 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE SLAVE'S ARGUMENT. 

On his return home, Clayton took from the post-office a 
letter, which we will give to our readers. 

"Mr. Clayton: I am now an outcast. I cannot show 
my face in the world, I cannot go abroad by daylight ; for 
no crime, as I can see, except resisting oppression. Mr. 
Clayton, if it were proper for your fathers to fight and shed 
blood for the oppression that came xipon them, why is n't it 
right for us ? They had not half the provocation that we 
have. Their wives and families were never touched. They 
were not bought, and sold, and traded, like cattle in the 
market, as we are. In fact, when I was reading that his- 
tory, I could hardly understand what provocation they did 
have. They had everything easy and comfortable about 
them. They were able to support their families, even in 
luxury. And yet they were willing to plunge into war, and 
shed blood. I have studied the Declaration of Independ- 
ence. The things mentioned there were bad and uncom- 
fortable, to be sure ; but, after all, look at the laws which 
are put over us I Now, if they had forbidden them to 
teach their children to read, — if they had divided them all 
out among masters, and declared them incapable of holding 
property as the mule before the plough, — there would have 
been some sense in that revolution. 

" Well, how was it with our people in South Carolina ? 
Denmark Ves'ey was a man ! His history is just what 
George Washington's would have been, if you had failed. 



202 THE SLAVE ; S ARGUMENT. 

What set him on in his course ? The Bible and your Declara- 
tion of Independence. What does your Declaration say ? 
' We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are 
created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with 
certain inalienable rights : that among these are life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights 
governments are instituted among men. That whenever 
any form of government becomes destructive of any of these 
ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.' 
Now, what do you make of that ? This is read to us, 
every Fourth of July. It was read to Denmark Vesey and 
Peter Poyas, and all those other brave, good men, who 
dared to follow your example and your precepts. Well, 
they failed, and your people hung them. And they said 
they could n't conceive what motive could have induced 
them to make the effort. They had food enough, and 
clothes enough, and were kept very comfortable. Well, 
had not your people clothes enough, and food enough ? and 
would n't you still have had enough, even if you had re- 
mained a province of England to this day, — much better 
living, much better clothes, and much better laws, than we 
have to-day ? I heard your father's interpretation of the 
law ; I heard Mr. Jekyl's ; and yet, when men rise up 
against such laws, you wonder what in the world could have 
induced them ! That 's perfectly astonishing ! 

" But, of all the injuries and insults that are heaped upon 
us, there is nothing to me so perfectly maddening as the 
assumption of your religious men, who maintain and defend 
this enormous injustice by the Bible. We have all the right 
to rise against them that they had to rise against England. 
They tell us the Bible says, ' Servants, obey your masters. 7 
Well, the Bible says, also, ' The powers that be are ordained 
of God, and whoso resisteth the power, resisteth the ordi- 
nance of God.' If it was right for them to resist the ordi- 
nance of God, it is right for us. If the Bible does justify 
slavery, why don't they teach the slave to read it ? And 
what 's the reason that two of the greatest insurrections 



THE slave's argument. 203 

came from men who read scarcely anything 1 else but the 
Bible ? No, the fact is, they don't believe this themselves. 
If they did, they would try the experiment fairly of giving 
the Bible to their slaves. I can assure you the Bible looks 
as different to a slave from what it does to a master, as 
everything else in the world does. 

"Now, Mr. Clayton, you understand that when I say 
you, along here, I do not mean you personally, but the gen- 
erality of the community of which you are one. I want 
you to think these things over, and, whatever my future 
course may be, remember my excuse for it is the same as 
that on which your government is built. 

"I am very grateful to you for all your kindness. Per- 
haps the time may come when I shall be able to show my 
gratitude. Meanwhile, I must ask one favor of you, which 
I think you will grant for the sake of that angel who is 
gone. I have a sister, who, as well as myself, is the child 
of Tom Gordon's father. She was beautiful and good, and 
her owner, who had a large estate in Mississippi, took her 
to Ohio, emancipated and married her. She has two chil- 
dren by him, a son and a daughter. He died, and left his 
estate to her and her children. Tom Gordon is the heir-at- 
law. He has sued for the property, and obtained it. The 
act of emancipation has been declared null and void, and 
my sister and her children are in the hands of that man, 
with all that absolute power ; and they have no appeal from 
him for any evil whatever. She has escaped his hands, so 
she wrote me once ; but I have heard a report that he has 
taken her again. The pious Mr. Jekyl will know all about 
it. Now, may I ask you to go to him, and make inquiries, 
and let me know ? A letter sent to Mr. James Twitchel, at 
the post-office near Canema, where our letters used to be 
taken, will get to me. By doing this favor, you will secure 
my eternal gratitude. ■ Harry Gordox." 

Clayton read this letter with some surprise, and a good 
deal of attention. It was written on very coarse paper, 
ii. 13 



204 THE slave's argument. 

such as is commonly sold at the low shops. Where Harry 
was, and how concealed, was to him only a matter of con- 
jecture. But the call to render him any assistance was a 
sacred one, and he determined on a horseback excursion to 
E., the town where Mr. Jekyl resided. 

He found that gentleman very busy in looking over and 
arranging papers in relation to that large property which 
had just come into Tom Gordon's hands. He began by 
stating that the former owner of the servants at Canema 
had requested him, on her death-bed, to take an interest in 
her servants. He had therefore called to ascertain if any- 
thing had been heard from Harry. 

"Not yet," said Mr. Jekyl, pulling up his shirt-collar. 
" Our plantations in this vicinity are very unfortunate in 
their proximity to the swamp. It 's a great expense of 
time and money. Why, sir, it 's inconceivable, the amount 
of property that 's lost in that swamp ! I have heard it esti- 
mated at something like three millions of dollars ! We fol- 
low them up with laws, you see. They are outlawed regu- 
larly, after a certain time, and then the hunters go in and 
chase them down ; sometimes kill two or three a day, or 
something like that. But, on the whole, they don't effect 
much." 

" Well," said Clayton, who felt no disposition to enter 
into any discussion with Mr. Jekyl, "so you think he is 
there ? " 

" Yes, I have no doubt of it. The fact is, there 's a fellow 
that 's been seen lurking about this swamp, off and on, for 
years and years. Sometimes he is n't to be seen for 
months ; and then again he is seen or heard of, but never so 
that anybody can get hold of him. I have no doubt the 
niggers on the plantation know him ; but, then, you can 
never get anything out of them. 0, they are deep ! They 
are a dreadfully corrupt set ! " 

" Mr. Gordon has, I think, a sister of Harry's, who 
came in with this new estate," said Mr. Clayton. 

" Yes, yes," said Mr. Jekyl. " She has given us a good 



THE slave's argument. 205 

deal of trouble, too. She got away, and went off to Cin- 
cinnati, and I had to go up and hunt her out. It was really 
a great deal of trouble and expense. If I had n't been 
assisted by the politeness and kindness of the marshal and 
brother officers, it would have been very bad. There is a 
good deal of religious society, too, in Cincinnati ; and so, 
while I was waiting, I attended anniversary meetings." 

" Then you did succeed," said Clayton. " I came to see 
whether Mr. Gordon would listen to a proposition for selling 
her." 

" 0, he has sold her ! " said Mr. Jekyl. " She is at Al- 
exandria, now, in Beaton & Burns' establishmeat." 

" And her children, too ? " 

" Yes, the lot. I claim some little merit for that, myself. 
Tom is a fellow of rather strong passions, and he was terri- 
bly angry for the trouble she had made. I don't know what 
he would have done to her, if I had n't talked to him. But 
I showed him some debts that could n't be put off any longer 
without too much of a sacrifice ; and, on the whole, I per- 
suaded him to let her be sold. I have tried to exert a 
good influence over him, in a quiet way," said Mr. Jekyl. 
"Now, if you want to get the woman, like enough she may 
not be sold, as yet." 

Clayton, having thus ascertained the points which he 
wished to know, proceeded immediately to Alexandria. 
When he was there, he found a considerable excitement. 

"A slave-woman," it was said, " who was to have been sent 
off in a coffle the next day, had murdered her two children." 

The moment that Clayton heard the news, he felt an in- 
stinctive certainty that this woman was Cora Gordon. He 
went to the magistrate's court, where the investigation was 
being held, and found it surrounded by a crowd so dense 
that it was with difficulty he forced his way in. At the bar 
he saw seated a woman dressed in black, whose face, hag- 
gard and wan, showed yet traces of former beauty. The 
splendid dark eyes had a peculiar and fierce expression. 
The thin lines of the face were settled into an immovable 



206 the slave's argument. 

fixedness of calm determination. There was even an air of 
grave, solemn triumph on her countenance. She appeared 
to regard the formalities of the court with the utmost indif- 
ference. At last she spoke, in a clear, thrilling, distinct 
voice : 

" If gentlemen will allow me to speak, I '11 save them the 
trouble of that examination of witnesses. It 's going a long 
way round to find out a very little thing." 

There was an immediate movement of curiosity in the 
whole throng, and the officer said, 

" You are permitted to speak." 

She rose deliberately, untied her bonnet-strings, looked 
round the whole court, with a peculiar but calm expression 
of mingled triumph and power. 

"You want to know," she said, "who killed those chil- 
dren ! Well, I will tell you ; " and again her eyes travelled 
round the house, with that same strong, defiant expression ; 
" I killed them ! " 

There was a pause, and a general movement through the 
house. 

" Yes," she said, again, " I killed them ! And, 0, how 
glad I am that I have done it"! Do you want to know what 
I killed them for ? Because I loved them ! — loved them so 
well that I was willing to give up my soul to save theirs ! 
I have heard some persons say that I was in a frenzy, ex- 
cited, and did n't know what I was doing. They are mis- 
taken. I was not in a frenzy ; I was not excited ; and I 
did know what I was doing ! and I bless God that it is 
done ! I was born the slave of my own father. Your old 
proud Virginia blood is in my veins, as it is in half of those 
you whip and sell. I was the lawful wife of a man of honor, 
who did what he could to evade your cruel laws, and set me 
free. My children were born to liberty ; they were brought 
up to liberty, till my father's son entered a suit for us, and 
made us slaves. Judge and jury helped him — all your laws 
and your officers helped him — to take away the rights of 
the widow and the fatherless ! The judge said that my 



THE slave's argument. 207 

son, being a slave, could no more hold property than the 
mule before his plough ; and we were delivered into Tom 
Gordon's hands. I shall not say what he is. It is not fit to 
be sard. God will show at the judgment-day. But I es- 
caped, with my children, to Cincinnati. He followed me 
there, and the laws of your country gave me back to him. 
To-morrow I was to have gone in a coffle and leave these 
children — my son a slave for life — my daughter — " She 
looked round the court-room with an expression which said 
more than words could have spoken. " So I heard them say 
their prayers and sing their hymns, and then, while they 
were asleep and did n't know it, I sent them to lie down 
in green pastures with the Lord. They say this is a dread- 
ful sin. It may be so. I am willing to lose my soul to have 
theirs saved. I have no more to hope or fear. It 's all 
nothing, now, where I go or what becomes of me. But, at 
any rate, they are safe. And, now, if any of you mothers, 
in my place, w T ould n't have done the same, you either 
don't know what slavery is, or you don't love your children 
as I have loved mine. This is all." 

She sat down, folded her arms, fixed her eyes on the floor, 
and seemed like a person entirely indifferent to the further 
opinions and proceedings of the court. 

She was remanded to jail for trial. Clayton determined, 
in his own mind, to do what he could for her. Her own 
declaration seemed to make the form of a trial unnecessary. 
He resolved, however, to do what he could to enlist for 
her the sympathy of some friends of his in the city. 

The next day he called, with a clergyman, and requested 
permission to see her. When they entered her cell, she 
rose to receive them with the most perfect composure, as if 
they had called upon her in a drawing-room. Clayton intro- 
duced his companion as the Bev. Mr. Denton. There was 
an excited flash in her eyes, but she said, calmly, 

" Have the gentlemen business with me ? " 

"We called," said the clergyman, "to see if we could 
render you any assistance." 
n. 18* 



208 THE slave's argument. 

" No, sir, you cannot ! " was the prompt reply. 

"My clear friend," said the clergyman, in a very kind 
tone, " I wish it were in my power to administer to you the 
consolations of the Gospel." 

"I have nothing to do," she answered, firmly, "with 
ministers who pretend to preach the Gospel, and support 
oppression and robbery ! Your hands are defiled with 
blood ! — so don't come to me ! I am a prisoner, here, and 
cannot resist. But, when I tell you that I prefer to be 
left alone, perhaps it may have some effect, even if I am a 
slave ! " 

Clayton took out Harry's letter, handed it to her, and 
said : 

" After you have read this, you will, perhaps, receive me, 
if I should call again to-morrow, at this hour." 

The next day, when Clayton called, he was conducted 
by the jailer to the door of the. cell. 

" There is a lady with her now, reading to her." 

" Then I ought not to interrupt her," said Clayton, hesi- 
tating. 

" 0, I suspect it would make no odds," said the jailer. 

Clayton laid his hand on his to stop him. The sound 
that came indistinctly through the door was the voice of 
prayer. Some woman was interceding, in the presence of 
eternal pity, for an oppressed and broken-hearted sister. 
After a few moments the door was partly opened, and he 
heard a sweet voice, saying : 

" Let me come to you every day, may I ? I know what 
it is to suffer." 

A smothered sob was the only answer ; and then fol- 
lowed words, imperfectly distinguished, which seemed 
to be those of consolation. In a moment the door was 
opened, and Clayton found himself suddenly face to face 
with a lady in deep mourning. She was tall, and largely 
proportioned ; the outlines of her face strong, yet beauti- 
ful, and now wearing the expression which comes from 
communion with the highest and serenest nature. Both 



THE slave's argument. 209 

were embarrassed, and made a momentary pause. In the 
start she dropped one of her gloves. Clayton picked it up, 
handed it to her, bowed, and she passed on. By some sin- 
gular association, this stranger, with a serious, radiant face, 
suggested to him the sparkling, glittering beauty of Xina ; 
and it seemed, for a moment, as if Xina was fluttering by 
him in the air, and passing away after her. "When he ex- 
amined the emotion more minutely afterwards, he thought, 
perhaps, it might have been suggested by the perception, 
as he lifted the glove, of a peculiar and delicate perfume, 
which Xina was fond of using. So strange and shadowy 
are the influences which touch the dark, electric chain of 
our existence. 

When Clayton went into the cell, he found its inmate in a 
softened mood. There were traces of tears on her cheek, 
and an open Bible on the bed ; but her appearance was 
calm and self-possessed, as usual. She said : 

" Excuse my rudeness, Mr. Clayton, at your last visit. 
We cannot always command ourselves to do exactly what 
we should. I thank you very much for your kindness to 
us. There are many who are kindly disposed towards us ; 
but it's very little that they can do." 

" Can I be of any assistance in securing counsel for 
3 r ou ? " said Clayton. 

" I don't need any counsel. I don't wish any," said she. 
"I shall make no effort. Let the law take its course. If 
you ever should see Harry, give my love to him — that's 
all! And, if you can help him, pray do! If you have 
time, influence, or money to spare, and can get him to any 
country where he will have the common rights of a human 
being, pray do, and the blessing of the poor will come 
on you ! That 's all I have to ask." 

Clayton rose to depart. He had fulfilled the object of his 
mission. He had gained all the information, and more than 
all, that he wished. He queried with himself whether it 
were best to write to Harry at all. The facts that he had 
to relate were such as were calculated to kindle to a fiercer 



210 the slave's argument. 

flame the excitement which was now consuming him. He 
trembled, when he thought of it, lest that excitement should 
blaze out in forms which should array against him, with 
still more force, that society with which he was already 
at war. Thinking, however, that Harry, perhaps, might 
obtain the information in some less guarded form, he sat 
down and wrote him the following letter : 

" I have received your letter. I need not say that I am 
sorry for all that has taken place — sorry for your sake, 
and for the sake of one very dear both to me and to you. 
Harry, I freely admit that you live in a state of society 
which exercises a great injustice. I admit your right, and 
that of all men, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 
I admit the right of an oppressed people to change their 
form of government, if they can. I admit that your people 
suffer under greater oppression than ever our fathers suf- 
fered. And, if I believed that they were capable of obtain- 
ing and supporting a government, I should believe in their 
right to take the same means to gain it. But I do not, at 
present ; and I think, if you will reflect on the subject, 
you will agree with me. I do not think that, should they 
make an effort, they would succeed. They would only 
embitter the white race against them, and destroy that 
sympathy which many are beginning to feel for their op- 
pressed condition. I know it seems a very unfeeling thing 
for a man who is at ease to tell one, who is oppressed and 
suffering, to be patient ; and yet I must even say it. It is 
my place, and our place, to seek repeal of the unjust laws 
which oppress you. I see no reason why the relation of 
master and servants may not be continued through our 
states, and the servants yet be free men. I am satisfied 
that it would be for the best interests of master as well as 
slave. If this is the truth, time will make it apparent, and 
the change will come. With regard to you, the best coun- 
sel I can give is, that you try to escape to some of the 
northern states ; and I will furnish you with means to begin 



THE SLAYE'3 AEGFUMENT. 211 

life there under better auspices. I am very sorry that I 
have to tell you something- very painful about your sister. 
She was sold to a trading-house in Alexandria, and, in des- 
peration, has killed both her children ! For this she is now 
in prison, awaiting her trial ! I have been to see her, and 
offered every assistance in my power. She declines all. 
She does not wish to live, and has already avowed the 
fact ; making no defence, and wishing none to be made for 
her. Another of the bitter fruits of this most unrighteous 
system ! She desired her love and kind wishes to you. 
Whatever more is to be known, I will tell you at some 
future time. 

" After all that I have said to you in this letter, I cannot 
help feeling, for myself, how hard, and cold, and insufficient, 
it must seem to you ! If I had such a sister as yours, and 
her life had been so wrecked, I feel that I might not have 
patience to consider any of these things ; and I am afraid 
3'ou will not. Yet I feel this injustice to my heart. I feel 
it like a personal affliction ; and, God helping me, I will 
make it the object of my life to remedy it ! Your sister's 
trial will not take place for some time ; and she has friends 
who do all that can be done for her." 

Clayton returned to his father's house, and related the 
result of his first experiment with the clergy. 

" Well, now," said Mrs. Clayton, " I must confess I was 
not prepared for this." 

" I was," said Judge Clayton. "It's precisely, what I 
expected. You have tried the Presbyterians, with whom 
our family are connected ; and now you may go successively 
to the Episcopalians, the Methodists, the Baptists, and you 
will hear the same story from them all. About half of 
them defend the thing from the Bible, in the most unblush- 
ing, disgusting manner. The other half acknowledge and 
lament it as an evil ; but they are cowed and timid, and 
can do nothing." 

"Well," said Clayton, "the greatest evidence to my 



212 the slave's argument. 

mind of the inspiration of the Scriptures is, that they are 
yet afloat, when every new absurdity has been successively 
tacked to them." 

" But/' said Mrs. Clayton, " are there no people that are 
faithful?" 

" None in this matter that I know of," said Judge Clay- 
ton, "except the Covenanters and the Quakers among us, 
and the Free-will Baptists and a few others at the North. 
And their number and influence is so small, that there can 
be no great calculation made on them for assistance. Of 
individuals, there are not a few who earnestly desire to do 
something ; but they are mostly without faith or hope, like 
me. And, from the communities — from the great organiza- 
tions in society — no help whatever is to be expected." 



CHAPTER XXI. 



THE DESERT. 



There is no study in human nature more interesting than 
the aspects of the same subject seen in the points of view 
of different characters. One might almost imagine that 
there were no such thing as absolute truth, since a change 
of situation or temperament is capable of changing the whole 
force of an argument. We have been accustomed, even 
those of us who feel most, to look on the arguments for and 
against the system of slavery with the eyes of those who 
are at ease. We do not even know how fair is freedom, for 
we were always free. We shall never have all the materials 
for absolute truth on this subject, till we take into account, 
with our own views and reasonings, the views and reason- 
ings of those who have bowed down to the yoke, and felt 
the iron enter into their souls. We all console ourselves 
too easily for the sorrows of others. We talk and reason 
coolly of that which, did we feel it ourselves, would take 
away all power of composure and self-control. We have 
seen how the masters feel and reason ; how good men feel 
and reason, whose public opinion and Christian fellowship 
support the master, and give him confidence in his position. 
We must add, also, to our estimate, the feelings and rea- 
sonings of the slave ; and, therefore, the reader must follow 
us again to the fastness in the Dismal Swamp. 

It is a calm, still, Indian-summer afternoon. The whole 
air is flooded with a golden haze, in which the tree-tops 
move dreamily to and fro, as if in a whispering revery. 
The wild climbing grape-vines, which hang in thousand-fold 



214 THE DESERT. * 

festoons round the enclosure, are purpling' with grapes. 
The little settlement now has among its inmates Old Tiff and 
his children, and Harry and his wife. The children and 
Tiff had been received in the house of the widow whose 
husband had fallen a victim to the hunters, as we mentioned 
iu one of our former chapters. All had united in building 
for Harry and Lisette a cabin contiguous to the other. 

Old Tiff, with his habitual industry, might now be seen 
hoeing in the sweet-potato patch, which belonged to the 
common settlement. The children were roaming up and 
down, looking after autumn flowers and grapes. 

Dred, who had been out all the night before, was now 
lying on the ground on the shady side of the clearing, with 
an old, much-worn, much-thumbed copy of the Bible by his 
side. It was the Bible of Denmark Vesey, and in many a 
secret meeting its wild, inspiring poetry had sounded like a 
trumpet in his youthful ear. 

He lay with his elbow resting on the ground, his hands 
supporting his massive head, and his large, gloomy, dark 
eyes fixed in revery on the moving tree-tops as they waved 
in the golden blue. Now his eye followed sailing islands 
of white cloud, drifting to and fro above them. There were 
elements in him which might, under other circumstances, 
have made him a poet. 

His frame, capacious and energetic as it was, had yet 
that keenness of excitability which places the soul en rapport 
with all the great forces of nature. The only book which 
he had been much in the habit of reading — the book, in fact, 
which had been the nurse and forming power of his soul — 
was the Bible, distinguished above all other literature for 
its intense sympathy with nature. Dred, indeed, resembled 
in organization and tone of mind some of those men of old 
who were dwellers in the wilderness, and drew their inspir- 
ations from the. desert. 

It is remarkable that, in all ages, communities and indi- 
viduals who have suffered under oppression have always 
fled for refuge to the Old Testament, and to the book of 



THE DESERT. 215 

Kevelation in the New. Even if not definitely understood, 
these magnificent compositions have a wild, inspiring 
power, like a wordless yet impassioned symphony played 
by a sublime orchestra, in which deep and awful sub-bass 
instruments mingle with those of ethereal softness, and 
wild minors twine and interlace with marches of battles 
and bursts of victorious harmony. 

They are much mistaken who say that nothing is efficient as a 
motive that is not definitely understood. Who ever thought 
of understanding the mingled wail and roar of the Marseil- 
laise ? Just this kind of indefinite stimulating power has 
the Bible to the souls of the oppressed. There is also a 
disposition, which has manifested itself since the primitive 
times, by which the human soul, bowed down beneath the 
weight of mighty oppressions, and despairing, in its own 
weakness, seizes with avidity the intimations of a coming 
judgment, in which the Son of Man, appearing in his glory, 
and all his holy angels with him, shall right earth's mighty 
wrongs. 

In Dred's mind this thought had acquired an absolute 
ascendency. All things in nature and in revelation he 
interpreted by this key. 

During the prevalence of the cholera, he had been per- 
vaded by a wild and solemn excitement. To him it was the 
opening of a seal — the sounding of the trumpet of the first 
angel. And other woes were yet to come. 

He was not a man of personal malignity to any human 
being. When he contemplated schemes of insurrection and 
bloodshed, he contemplated them with the calm, immovable 
firmness of one who felt himself an instrument of doom in a 
mightier hand. In fact, although seldom called into exer- 
cise by the incidents of his wild and solitary life, there was 
in him a vein of that gentleness which softens the heart 
towards children and the inferior animals. The amusement 
of his vacant hours was sometimes to exercise his peculiar 
gifts over the animal creation, by drawing towards him the 
birds and squirrels from the coverts of the forest, and 
ii. 19 



216 THE DESERT. 

giving them food. Indei d, he commonly carried corn in 
the hunting-dress which he wore, to use for this purpose. 
Just at this moment, as he lay absorbed in revery, he heard 
Teddy, who was near him, calling to his sister. 

" 0, Fanny, do come and see this squirrel, he is so 
pretty!" 

Fanny came running, eagerly. " Where is he ? " she said. 

" 0, he is gone ; he just went behind that tree." 

The children, in their eagerness, had not perceived how 
near they were to Dred. He had turned his face towards 
them, and was looking at them with a pleased expression, 
approaching to a smile. 

"Do you want to see him?" he said. "Stop a few 
minutes." 

He rose and scattered a train of corn between him and 
the thicket, and, sitting down on the ground, began making 
a low sound, resembling the call of the squirrel to its young. 
In a few moments Teddy and Fanny were in a tremor of 
eager excitement, as a pair of little bright eyes appeared 
among the leaves, and gradually their owner, a brisk little 
squirrel, came out and began rapidly filling its chops with 
the corn. Dred still continued, with his eyes fixed on the 
animal, to make the same noise. Very soon two others 
were seen following their comrade. The children laughed 
when they saw the headmost squirrel walk into Dred's hand, 
which he had laid upon the ground, the others soon follow- 
ing his example. Dred took them up, and, softly stroking 
them, they seemed to become entirely amenable to his will ; 
and, to amuse the children, he let them go into his hunting- 
pouch to eat the corn that was there. After this, they 
seemed to make a rambling expedition over his whole per- 
son, investigating his pockets, hiding themselves in the 
bosom of his shirt, and seeming apparently perfectly fear- 
less, and at home. 

Fanny reached out her hand, timidly. " Won't they come 
to mo '( " she said. 

" No, daughter," said Dred, with a smile, " they don't 



THE DESEKT. 217 

know you. In the new earth the enmity will be taken 
away, and then they '11 come." 

"I wonder what he means by the new earth!" said 
Fanny. 

Dred seemed to feel a kind of pleasure in the admiration 
of the children, to which, perhaps, no one is wholly insen- 
sible. He proceeded, therefore, to show them some other 
of his accomplishments. The wood was resounding with 
the afternoon song of birds, and Dred suddenly began 
answering one of the songsters with an exact imitation of 
his note. The bird evidently heard it, and answered back 
with still more spirit ; and thus an animated conversation 
was kept up for some time. 

" You see," he said, " that I understand the speech 
of birds. After the great judgment, the elect shall talk 
with the birds and the beasts in the new earth. Every 
kind of bird has a different language, in which they show 
why men should magnify the Lord, and turn from their 
wickedness. But the sinners cannot hear it, because their 
ear is waxed gross." 

"I didn't know," said Fanny, hesitatingly, "as that 
was so. How did you find it out ? " 

" The Spirit of the Lord revealed it unto me, child." 

" What is the Spirit ? " said Fanny, who felt more 
encouraged, as she saw Dred stroking a squirrel. 

" It 's the Spirit that spoke in the old prophets," he said. 

" Did it tell you what the birds say ? " 

" I am not perfected in holiness yet, and cannot receive 
it. But the birds fly up near the heavens, wherefore they 
learn droppings of the speech of angels. I never kill the 
birds, because the Lord hath set them between us and the 
angels for a sign." 

" What else did the Spirit tell you ? " said Teddy. 

" He showed me that there was a language in the leaves," 
said Dred. " For I rose and looked, and, behold, there were 
signs drawn on the leaves, and forms of every living thing, 
with strange worcis, which the wicKed understand not, but 



218 THE DESERT. 

the elect shall read them. And, behold, the signs are in 
blood, which is the blood of the Lamb, that descendeth like 
dew from heaven." 

Fanny looked puzzled. " Who are the elect ? " she 
said. 

" They ? " said Dred. " They are the hundred and forty and 
four thousand, that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. 
And the angels have charge, saying, ' Hurt not the earth 
till these are sealed in their forehead.' " 

Fanny instinctively put her hand to her forehead. " Do 
you think they '11 seal me ? " she said. 

" Yes," said Dred ; " such as you are of the kingdom." 

"Did the Spirit tell you that?" said Fanny, who felt 
some considerable anxiety. 

" Yea, the Spirit hath shown me many such things," said 
Dred. " It hath also revealed to me the knowledge of the 
elements, the revolutions of the planets, the operations of 
the tide, and changes of the seasons." 

Fanny looked doubtfully, and, taking up her basket of 
wild grapes, slowly moved off, thinking that she would ask 
Tiff about it. 

At this moment there was a rustling in the branches of 
the oak-tree which overhung a part of the clearing near 
where Dred was lying, and Harry soon dropped from the 
branches on to the ground. Dred started up to receive 
him. 

" How is it ? " said he. " Will they come ? " 

" Yes ; by midnight to-night they will be here. See 
here," he added, taking a letter from his pocket, "what I 
have received." 

It was the letter which Clayton had written to Harry. It 
was remarkable, as Dred received it, how the wandering 
mystical expression of his face immediately gave place to 
one of shrewd and practical earnestness. He sat down on 
the ground, laid it on his knee, and followed the lines with 
his finger. Some passages he seemed to read over two or 
three times with the greatest attention, and he would pause, 



THE DESERT. 219 

after reading" them, and sat with his eyes fixed gloomily on 
the ground. The last part seemed to agitate him strongly. 
He gave a sort of suppressed groan. 

"Harry," he said, turning to him, at last, " behold the 
day shall come when the Lord shall take out of our hand 
the cup of trembling, and put it into the hand of those that 
oppress us. Our soul is exceedingly filled now with the 
scorning of them that are at ease, and with the contempt 
of the proud. The prophets prophesy falsely, the rulers 
bear rule by their means, and the people love to have it so. 
But what will it be in the end thereof? Their own wicked- 
ness shall reprove them, and their backsliding shall correct 
them. Listen to me, Harry," he said, taking up his Bible, 
" and see what the Lord saith unto thee. ' Thus saith the 
Lord my God, Feed the flock of the slaughter ; whose pos- 
sessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty, and they 
that sell them say, blessed be the Lord, for I am rich. And 
their own shepherds pity them not. For I will no more 
pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord. But, lo, I 
will deliver the men, every one into his neighbor's hand, 
and into the hand of his king. And they shall smite the 
land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them. And I 
will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, ye poor of the 
flock. And I took unto me two staves : the one I called 
beauty, and the other I called bands. And I fed the flock. 
And I took my staff, even beauty, and cut it asunder, that 
I might break my covenant which I had made with all the 
people. And it was broken in that day, so the poor of the 
flock that waited on me knew it was the word of the Lord. 
Then I cut asunder mine other stave, even bands, that I 
might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. 
The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the 
Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the 
foundations of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man 
within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trem- 
bling to all the people round about. Also in that day I 
will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. 
n. 19* 



220 THE DESERT. 

All that burthen themselves with it shall be cut to pieces. 
In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with 
astonishment, and every rider with madness. And I will 
open mine eyes on the house of Judah, and will smite every 
horse of the people with blindness. In that day I will 
make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among 
the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf, and they shall 
devour ail the people on the right and the left.' 

" Harry," said he, " these things are written for our 
learning. We will go up and take away her battlements, 
for they are not the Lord's ! " 

The gloomy fervor with which Dred read these words of 
Scripture, selecting, as his eye glanced down the prophetic 
pages, passages whose images most affected his own mind, 
carried with it an overpowering mesmeric force. 

Who shall say that, in this world, where all things are 
symbolic, bound together by mystical resemblances, and 
where one event is the archetype of thousands, that there 
is not an eternal significance in these old prophecies ? Do 
they not bring with them " springing and germinant fulfil- 
ments" wherever there is a haughty and oppressive nation, 
and a " flock of the slaughter " ? 

"Harry," said Dred, " I have fasted and prayed before 
the Lord, lying all night on my face, yet the token cometh 
not ! Behold, there are prayers that resist me ! The Lamb 
yet beareth, and the opening of the second seal delayeth ! 
Yet the Lord had shown unto me that we should be up and 
doing, to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord ! The 
Lord hath said unto me, ' Speak to the elders, and to the 
prudent men, and prepare their hearts.' " 

" One thing," said Harry, "fills me with apprehension. 
Hark, that brought me this letter, was delayed in getting 
back ; and I 'm afraid that he '11 get into trouble. Tom 
Gordon is raging like a fury over the people of our planta- 
tion. They have always been held under a very mild rule ; 
and every one knows that a plantation so managed is not 
so immediately profitable as it can be made for a short time 



THE DESERT. 221 

by forcing everything up to the highest notch. He has got 
a man, there, for overseer — Old Hokum — that has been 
famous for his hardness and meanness ; and he has deliv- 
ered the people, unreservedly, into his hands. He drinks, 
and frolics, and has his oyster-suppers, and swears he '11 
shoot any one that brings him a complaint. Hokum is to 
pay him so much yearly, and have to himself all that he 
makes over. Tom Gordon keeps two girls, there, that he 
bought for himself and his fellows, just as he wanted to 
keep my wife ! " 

" Be patient, Harry ! This is a great christianizing insti- 
tution ! " said Dred, with a tone of grave irony. 

" I am afraid for Hark," said Harry. " He is the bravest 
of brave fellows. He is ready to do anything for us. But, 
if he is taken, there will be no mercy." 

Dred looked on the ground, gloomily. " Hark was to be 
here to-night," he said. 

" Yes," said Harry, " I wish we may see him." 

"Harry," said Dred, "when they come, to-night, read 
them the Declaration of Independence of these United 
States, and then let each one judge of our afflictions, and 
the afflictions of their fathers, and the Lord shall be judge 
between us. I must go and seek counsel of the Lord." 

Dred rose, and, giving a leap from the ground, caught on 
the branch of the oak, which overhung their head, and, 
swinging himself on the limb, climbed in the thickness of 
the branches, and disappeared from view. Harry walked 
to the other side of the clearing, where his lodge had been 
erected. He found Lisette busy within. She ran to meet 
him, and threw her arms around his neck. 

" I am so glad you 've come back, Harry ! It is so dread- 
ful to think what may happen to you while you are gone ! 
Harry, I think we could be very happy here. See what a 
nice bed I have made in this corner, out of leaves and moss! 
The women are both very kind, and I am glad we have got 
Old Tiff and the children her^. It makes it seem more 
natural. See, I went out wit 1 them, this afternoon, and 



222 THE DESERT. 

how many grapes I have got ! What have you been talk- 
ing to that dreadful man about ? Do you know, Harry, he 
makes me afraid ? They say he is a prophet. Do you think 
he is ? " 

" I don't know, child," said Harry, abstractedly. 

" Don't stay with him too much ! " said Lisette. " He '11 
make you as gloomy as he is." 

" Do I need any one to make me gloomy ? " said Harry. 
" Am I not gloomy enough ? Am I not an outcast ? And 
you, too, Lisette ? " 

" It is n't so very dreadful to be an outcast," said Lisette. 
" God makes wild grapes for us, if we are outcasts." 

" Yes, child," said Harry, "you are right." 

"And the sun shines so pleasant, this afternoon!" said 
Lisette. 

"Yes," said Harry; "but by and by cold storms and 
rain will come, and frosty weather ! " 

"Well," said Lisette, "then we will think what to do 
next. But don't let us lose this afternoon, and these 
grapes, at any rate." 



CHAPTER XXII. 

JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 

At twelve o'clock, that night, Harry rose from the side of 
his sleeping wife, and looked out into the darkness. The 
belt of forest which surrounded them seemed a girdle of 
impenetrable blackness. But above, where the tree-tops 
fringed out against the sky, the heavens were seen of a 
deep, transparent violet, blazing with stars. lie opened 
the door, and came out. All was so intensely still that even 
the rustle of a leaf could be h?ard. He stood listening. 
A low whistle seemed to come from a distant part of the 
underwood. He answered it. Soon a crackling was heard, 
and a sound of cautious, suppressed conversation. In a 
few moments a rustling was heard in the boughs overhead. 
Harry stepped under. 

" Who is there ? " he said. 

" The camp of the Lord's judgment ! " was the answer, 
and a dark form dropped on the ground. 

" Hannibal ? " said Harry. 

" Yes, Hannibal ! " said the voice. 

" Thank God ! " said Harry. 

But now the boughs of the tree were continually rustling, 
and one after another sprang down to the ground, each one 
of whom pronounced his name, as he came. 

" Where is the prophet ? " said one. 

"He is not here," said Harry. "Fear not, he will be 
with us." 

The party now proceeded to walk, talking in low 
voices. 



224 JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 

"There's nobody from the Gordon place, yet!" said 
Harry, uneasily. 

" They'll be along," said one of them. " Perhaps Hokum 
was wakeful, to-night. They'll give him the slip, though." 

The company had now arrived at the lower portion of the 
clearing, where stood the blasted tree, which we formerly 
described, with its funeral-wreaths of moss. Over the 
grave which had recently been formed there Dred had 
piled a rude and ragged monument of stumps of trees, and 
tufts of moss, and leaves. In the top of one of the highest 
stumps was stuck a pine-knot, to which Harry now applied 
a light. It kindled, and rose with a broad, red, fuliginous 
glare, casting a sombre light on the circle of dark faces 
around. There were a dozen men, mulatto, quadroon, and 
negro. Their countenances all wore an expression of stern 
gravity and considerate solemnity. 

Their first act was to clasp their hands in a circle, and 
join in a solemn oath never to betray each other. The mo- 
ment this was done, Dred emerged mysteriously from the 
darkness, and stood among them. 

" Brethren," he said, "this is the grave of your brother, 
whose wife they would take for a prey ! Therefore he fled to 
the wilderness. But the assembly of the wicked compassed 
him about, and the dogs tore him, and licked up his blood, 
and here I buried him ! Wherefore, this heap is called 
Jegar Sahadutha ! For the God of Abraham and Nahor, 
the God of their fathers, shall judge betwixt us. He that 
regardeth not the oath of brethren, and betrayeth counsel, 
let his arm fall from his shoulder-blade ! Let his arm be 
broken from the bone ! Behold, this heap shall be a witness 
unto you ; for it hath heard all the words that ye have 
spoken ! " 

A deep-murmured " Amen" rose solemnly among them. 

" Brethren," said Dred, laying his hand upon Harry, 
"the Lord caused Moses to become the son of Pharaoh's 
daughter, that he might become learned in the wisdom of 
the Egyptians, to lead forth his people from the house of 



JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 225 

bondage. And, when he slew an Egyptian, he fled into the 
wilderness, where he abode certain days, till the time of the 
Lord was come. In like manner hath the Lord dealt with 
our brother. He shall expound unto you the laws of the 
Egyptians ; and for me, I will show unto you what I have 
received from the Lord." 

The circle now sat down on the graves which were scat- 
tered around, and Harry thus spoke : 

" Brothers, how many of you have been at Fourth of July 
celebrations ? " 

" I have ! I have ! All of us ! " was the deep response, 
uttered not eagerly, but in low and earnest tones. 

" Brethren, I wish to explain to you to-night the story 
that they celebrate. It was years ago that this people 
was small, and poor, and despised, and governed by men 
sent by the King of England, who, they say, oppressed 
them. Then they resolved that they would be free, and 
govern themselves in their own way, and make their own 
laws. For this they were called rebels and conspirators ; 
and, if they had failed, every one of their leaders would 
have been hung, and nothing more said about it. When 
the3 r were agreeing to do this, they met together and signed 
a paper, which was to show to all the world the reason why. 
You have heard this read by them when the drums were 
beating and the banners flying. Now hear it here, while 
you sit on the graves of men they have murdered ! " 

And, standing by the light of the flaring torch, Harry 
read that document which has been fraught with so much 
seed for all time. What words were those to fall on the ears 
of thoughtful bondmen ! 

" Governments derive their just power from the consent 
of the governed." "When a long train of abuses and 
usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a 
determination to reduce them under absolute despotism, it 
is their right and their duly to throw off such government." 

"Brothers," said Harry, "you have heard the grievances 
which our masters thought sufficient to make it right for 



226 JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 

them to shed blood. They rose up against their king, and 
when he sent his armies into the country, they fired at them 
from the windows of the houses, and from behind the barns, 
and from out of the trees, and wherever they passed, till 
they were strong enough to get together an army, and fight 
them openly." 

"Yes/' said Hannibal, " I heard my master's father tell 
of it. He was one of them." 

"Now," said Harry, "the Lord judge between us and 
them, if the laws that they put upon us be not worse than 
any that lay upon them. They complained that they could 
not get justice done to them in the courts. But how stands 
it with us, who cannot even come into a court to plead ? " 

Harry then, in earnest and vehement language, narrated 
the abuse which had been inflicted upon Milly ; and then re- 
cited, in a clear and solemn voice, that judicial decision 
which had burned itself into his memory, and which had 
confirmed and given full license to that despotic power. 
He related the fate of his own contract — of his services for 
years to the family for which he had labored, all ending in 
worse than nothing. And then he told his sister's history, 
till his voice was broken by sobs. The audience who sat 
around were profoundly solemn ; only occasionally a deep, 
smothered groan seemed to rise from them involuntarily. 

Hannibal rose. "I had a master in Yirginny. He was 
a Methodist preacher. He sold my wife and two children 
to Orleans, and then sold me. My next wife was took for 
debt, and she 's gone." 

A quadroon young man rose. " My mother was held by 
a minister in Kentucky. My father was a good, hard-work- 
ing man. There was a man set his eye on her, and wanted 
her ; but she would n't have anything to do with him. Then 
she told her master, and begged him to protect her ; but 
he sold her. Her hair turned all white in that year, and she 
went crazy. She was crazy till she died ! " 

"I 's got a story to tell, on that," said a middle-aged ne- 
gro man, of low stature, broad shoulders, and a countenance 



JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 227 

indicative of great resolution, who now rose. " I's got a 
story to tell." 

" Go on, Monday," said Harry. 

"You spoke 'bout de laws. I 's seen 'bout dem ar. 
Now, my brother Sam, he worked with me on de great Mor- 
ton place, in Virginny. And dere was going to be a 
wedding dere, and dey wanted money, and so some of de 
colored people was sold to Tom Parker, 'cause Tom Parker 
he was a buying up round, dat ar fall ; and he sold him to 
Souther, and he was one o' yer drefful mean white trash, 
dat lived down to de bush. Well, Sam was nigh 'bout 
starved, and so he had to help hisself de best way he 
could ; and he used fur to trade off one ting and 'nother 
fur meal to Stone's store, and Souther he told him ' dat 
he 'd give him hell if he caught him.' So, one day, when he 
missed something off de place, he come home and be brought 
Stone with him, and a man named Hearvy. He told him 
dat he was going to cotch it. I reckon dey was all three 
drunk. Any how, dey tied him up, and Souther he never 
stopped to cut him, and to slash him, and to hack him ; and 
dey burned him with chunks from de fire, and dey scalded 
him with boiling water. He was strong man, but dey 
worked on him dat way all day, and at last he died. Dey 
hearn his screeches on all de places round. Now, brethren, 
you jest see what was done 'bout it. Why, mas'r and some 
of de gen'lemen round said dat Souther ' was n ; t fit to 
live,' and it should be brought in de courts ; and sure 'nough 
it was ; and, 'cause he is my own brother, I listened for what 
dey would say. Well, fust dey begun with saying dat it 
wan't no murder at all, 'cause slaves, dey said, wan't people, 
and dey couldn't be murdered. But den de man on t' oder 
side he read heaps o' tings to show dat dey icas people — 
dat dey teas human critturs. Den de law} T er said dat dere 
wan't no evidence dat Souther meant fur to kill him, any 
how. Dat it was de right of de master to punish his slave 
any way he thought fit. And how was he going to know 
dat it would kill him ? Well, so dey had it back and forth, 
n. 20 



228 JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 

and finally de jury said ' it was murder in de second degree.' 
Lor ! if dat ar 's being murdered in de second degree, I like 
to know what de fust is ! You see, dey said he must go to 
de penitentiary for five years. But, laws, he did n't, 'cause 
dere 's ways enough o' getting out of dese yer tings ; 'cause 
he took it up to de upper court, and dey said ' dat it had 
been settled dat dere could n't be noting done agin a mas'r 
fur no kind of beating or 'busing of der own slaves. Dat 
de master must be protected, even if 't was ever so cruel.' * 

" So, now, brethren, what do you think of dat ar ? " 

At this moment another person entered the circle. There 
was a general start of surprise and apprehension, which im- 
mediately gave place to a movement of satisfaction and 
congratulation. 

" You have come, have you, Henry ? " said Harry. 

But at this moment the other turned his face full to the 
torch-light, and Harry was struck with its ghastly expres- 
sion. 

" For God's sake, what 's the matter, Henry ? Where 's 
Hark?" 

" Dead ! " said the other. 

As one struck with a pistol-shot leaps in the air, Harry 
bounded, with a cry, from the ground. 

" Dead ? " he echoed. 

"Yes, dead, at last! Dey's all last night a killing of 
him." 

* Lest any of our readers should think the dark witness who is speaking mis- 
taken in his hearing, we will quote here the words which stand on the Virginia 
law records, in reference to this very case. 

" It has been decided by this court, in Turner's case, that the owner of a 
slave, for the malicious, cruel, and excessive beating of his own slave, cannot be 
indicted. * * It is the policy of the law in respect to the relation of master 
and slave, and for the sake of securing proper subordination and obedience on 
the part of the slave, to protect the master from prosecution, even if the whipping 
and punishment be malicious, cruel, and excessive." — 7 Grattan, 673, 1851, South- 
er vs. Commonwealth. 

Any one who has sufficiently strong nerves to peruse the records of this 
trial will see the effect of the slave system on the moral sensibilities of edu- 
cated men. 



JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 229 

" I thought so ! 0, I was afraid of it ! " said Harry. 
" 0, Hark ! Hark ! Hark ! God do so to me, and more 
also, if I forget this ! " 

The thrill of a present interest drew eveiy one around 
the narrator, who proceeded to tell how "Hark, having 
been too late on his return to the plantation, had incurred 
the suspicion of being in communication with Harry. How 
Hokum, Tom Gordon, and two of his drunken associates, 
had gathered together to examine him by scourging. How 
his shrieks the night before had chased sleep from every 
hut of the plantation. How he died, and gave no sign." 
When he was through, there was dead and awful silence. 

Dred, who had been sitting during most of these narra- 
tions, bowed, with his head between his knees, groaning 
within himself, like one who is wrestling with repressed 
feeling, now rose, and, solemnly laying his hand on the 
mound, said : 

" Jegar Sahadutha! The God of their fathers judge be- 
tween us ! If they had a right to rise up for their oppres- 
sions, shall they condemn us ? For judgment is turned 
away backward, and justice standeth afar off! Truth is 
fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter ! Yea, truth 
faileth, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a 
prey ! They are not ashamed, neither can they blush ! 
They declare their sin as Sodom, and hide it not ! The 
mean man boweth clown, and the great man humbleth him- 
self ! Therefore, forgive them not, saith the Lord ! " 

Dred paused a moment, and stood with his hands uplifted. 
As a thunder-cloud trembles and rolls, shaking with gather- 
ing electric fire, so his dark figure seemed to dilate and 
quiver with the force of mighty emotions. He seemed, at 
the moment, some awful form, framed to symbolize to human 
eye the energy of that avenging justice which all nature 
shudderingly declares. 

He trembled, his hands quivered, drops of perspiration 
rolled down his face, his gloomy eyes dilated with an unut- 
terable volume of emotion. At last the words heaved 



230 JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 

themselves up in deep chest-tones, resembling the wild, 
hollow wail of a wounded lion, rinding vent in language 
to him so familiar, that it rolled from his tongue in a spon- 
taneous torrent, as if he had received their first inspiration. 

" Hear ye the word of the Lord against this people ! The 
harvest groweth ripe ! The press is full ! The vats overflow ! 
Behold, saith the Lord — behold, saith the Lord, I will gather 
all nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehosha- 
phat, and will plead with them for my people, whom they 
have scattered among the nations ! Woe unto them, for 
they have cast lots for my people, and given a boy for a 
harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink ! For 
three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn 
away the punishment thereof, saith the Lord ! Because 
they sold the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair 
of shoes ! They pant after the dust on the head of the 
poor, and turn aside the way of the meek ! And a man and 
his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy 
name ! Behold, saith the Lord, I am pressed under you, as 
a cart is pressed full of sheaves ! 

" The burden of the beasts of the South ! The land of 
trouble and anguish, from whence cometh the young and 
old lion, the viper, and fiery, flying serpent ! Go write it 
upon a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for time 
to come, for ever and ever, that this is a rebellious people, 
lying children — children that will not hear the law of the 
Lord ! Which say to the seers, See not ! Prophesy not unto 
us right things ! Speak unto us smooth things ! Prophesy 
deceits ! Wherefore, thus saith the Holy One of Israel, 
Because ye despise his word, and trust in oppression, and 
perverseness, and stay thereon ; therefore, this iniquity 
shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in 
a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly in an 
instant! And he shall break it as the breaking of a potter's 
vessel ! " 

Pausing for a moment, he stood with his hands tightly 
claspod before him, leaning forward, looking into the dis- 



JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 231 

tance. At last, with the action and energy of one who 
beholds a triumphant reality, he broke forth : 

" Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed gar- 
ments, from Bozrah ? This, that is glorious in his apparel, 
travelling in the greatness of his strength ? " 

He seemed to listen, and, as if he had caught an answer, 
he repeated : 

" I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save ! " 

" Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy gar- 
ments like him that treadeth in the wine-press ? I have 
trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there 
was none with me ; for I will tread them in my anger, and 
trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled 
on my garments, and I will stain all my raiment ! For the day 
of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed 
is come ! And I looked, and there was none to help ! And 
I wondered that there was none to uphold ! Therefore mine 
own arm brought salvation, and my fury it upheld me ! For 
I will tread down the people in mine, anger, and make them 
drunk in my fury ! " 

Gradually the light faded from his face. His arms fell. 
He stood a few moments with his head bowed down on 
his breast. Yet the spell of his emotion held every one 
silent. At last, stretching out his hand, he broke forth in 
passionate prayer : 

" How long, Lord, how long ? Awake ! Why sleep- 
est thou, Lord ? Why withdrawest thou thy hand ? 
Pluck it out of thy bosom ! We see not the sign ! There 
is no more any prophet, neither any among us, that know- 
eth how long ! Wilt thou hold thy peace forever ? Behold 
the blood of the poor crieth unto thee ! Behold how they 
hunt for our lives ! Behold how they pervert justice, and 
take away the key of knowledge ! They enter not in 
themselves, and those that are entering in they hinder ! 
Behold our wives taken for a prey ! Behold our daughters 
sold to be harlots ! Art thou a God that judgest on the 

earth ? Wilt thou not avenge thine own elect, that cry 
n. 20* 



232 JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 

unto thee day and night ? Behold the scorning of them 
that are at ease, and the contempt of the proud ! Behold 
how they speak wickedly concerning oppression ! They 
set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue 
walketh through the earth ! Wilt thou hold thy peace for 
all these things, and afflict us very sore ? " 

The energy of the emotion which had sustained him 
appeared gradually to have exhausted itself. And, after 
standing silent for a few moments, he seemed to gather 
himself together as a man awaking out of a trance, and, 
turning to the excited circle around him, he motioned them 
to sit down. When he spoke to them in his ordinary 
tone : 

"Brethren," he said, " the vision is sealed up, and the 
token is not yet come ! The Lamb still beareth the yoke of 
their iniquities ; there be prayers in the golden censers 
which go up like a cloud ! And there is silence in heaven 
for the space of half an hour ! But hold yourselves in 
waiting, for the day cometh ! And what shall be the end 
thereof? " 

A deep voice answered Dred. It was that of Hannibal. 

" We will reward them as they have rewarded us ! In 
the cup that they have filled to us we will measure to them 
again ! " 

"God forbid," said Dred, "that the elect of the Lord 
should do that ! When the Lord saith unto us, Smite, then 
will we smite ! We will not torment them with the scourge 
and fire, nor defile their women, as they have done with 
ours ! But we will slay them utterly, and consume them 
from off the face of the earth ! " 

At this moment the whole circle were startled by the 
sound of a voice which seemed to proceed deep in from 
among the trees, singing, in a wild and mournful tone, the 
familiar words of a hymn : 

" Alas ! and did my Saviour bleed, 
And did my Sovereign die ? 
Would he devote that sacred head 
For such a wretch as I ? " 



JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 233 

There was a dead silence as the voice approached still 
nearer, and the chorus was borne upon the night air : 

" 0, the Lamb, the loving Lamb, 
The Lamb of Calvary ! 
The Lamb that was slain, but liveth again, 
To intercede for me ! " 

And, as the last two lines were sung 1 , Milly emerged and 
stood in the centre of the group. When Dred saw her, he 
gave a kind of groan, and said, putting his hand out before 
his face : 

" Woman, thy prayers withstand me ! " 

"0, brethren," said Milly, "I mistrusted of yer coun- 
cils, and I 's been praying de Lord for you. 0, brethren, 
behold de Lamb of God ! If dere must come a day of ven- 
geance, pray not to be in it ! It 's de Lord's strange work. 
0, brethren, is we de fust dat's been took to de judgment- 
seat? dat's been scourged, and died in torments? 0, 
brethren, who did it afore us ? Did n't He hang bleeding 
three hours, when dey mocked Him, and gave Him vinegar ? 
Did n't He sweat great drops o' blood in de garden ? " 

And Milly sang again, words so familiar to many of them 
that, involuntarily, several voices joined her : 

" Agonizing in the garden, 

On the ground your Maker lies ; 
On the bloody tree behold Him, 
Hear Him cry, before He dies, 
It is finished ! Sinners, will not this suffice ? " 

" 0, won't it suffice, brethren ! " she said. " If de Lord 
could bear all dat, and love us yet, shan't we ? 0, brethren, 
dere 's a better way. I 's been whar you be. I 's been in 
de wilderness ! Yes, I 's heard de sound of dat ar trumpet ! 
0, brethren ! brethren ! dere was blackness and darkness 
dere ! But I 's come to Jesus, de Mediator of de new cove- 
nant, and de blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better 
tings than dat of Abel. Has n't I suffered ? My heart has 
been broke over and over for every child de Lord give me ! 



234 JEGAR SAHADUTHA. 

And, when (ley sold my poor Alfred, and shot him, and 
buried him like a dog, 0, but did n't my heart burn ? 0, 
how I hated her dat sold him ! I felt like I 'd kill her 1 I 
felt like I 'd be glad to see mischief come on her children ! 
But, brethren, de Lord turned and looked upon me like he 
done on Peter. I saw him with de crown o' thorns on his 
head, bleeding, bleeding, and I broke clown and forgave 
her. And de Lord turned her heart, and he was our peace. 
He broke down de middle wall 'tween us, and we come 
together, two poor sinners, to de foot of de cross. De 
Lord he judged her poor soul ! She wan't let off from her 
sins. Her chil'en growed up to be a plague and a curse to 
her ! Dey broke her heart ! 0, she was saved by fire — 
but, bress de Lord, she was saved ! She died with her poor 
head on my arm — she dat had broke my heart ! Wan't 
dat better dan if I 'd killed her ? 0, brethren, pray de Lord 
to give 'em repentance ! Leave de vengeance to him. 
Vengeance is mine — I will repay, saith de Lord. Like he 
loved us when we was enemies, love yer enemies ! " 

A dead silence followed this appeal. The key-note of 
another harmony had been struck. At last Dred rose up 
solemnly : 

" Woman, thy prayers have prevailed for this time ! " he 
said. " The hour is not yet come ! " 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

FRANK RUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 

Clayton was still pursuing the object which he had under- 
taken. He determined to petition the legislature to grant 
to the slave the right of seeking legal redress in cases of 
injury ; and, as a necessary step to this, the right of bearing 
testimony in legal action. As Frank Russel was candidate 
for the next state legislature, he visited him for the purpose 
of getting him to present such a petition. 

Our readers will look in on the scene, in a small retired 
back room of Frank's office, where his bachelor establish- 
ment as j^et was kept. Clayton had been giving him an 
earnest account of his plans and designs. 

" The only safe way of gradual emancipation," said Clay- 
ton, " is the reforming of law ; and the beginning of all legal 
reform must of course be giving the slave legal personality. 
It 's of no use to enact laws for his protection in his family 
state, or in any other condition, till we open to him an 
avenue through which, if they are violated, his grievances 
can be heard, and can be proved. A thousand laws for his 
comfort, without this, are only a dead letter." 

" I know it," said Frank Russel ; " there never was any- 
thing under heaven so atrocious as our slave-code. It 's a 
bottomless pit of oppression. Nobody knows it so well as 
we lawyers. But, then, Clayton, it 's quite another thing 
what 's to be done about it." 

"Why, I think it's very plain what's to be done," 
said Clayton. " Go right forward and enlighten the com- 



236 FRANK RUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 

munity. Get the law reformed. That 's wliat I Lave 
taken for my work ; and, Frank, you must help me." 

" Hum ! " said Frank. " Now, the fact is, Clayton, if I 
wore a stiff white neckcloth, and had a D.D. to my name, I 
should tell you that the interests of Zion stood in the way, 
and that it was my duty to preserve my influence, for the 
sake of being able to take care of the Lord's affairs. But, 
as I am not so fortunate, I must just say, without further 
preface, that it won't do for me to compromise Frank Eus- 
sel's interests. Clayton, I can't afford it — that 's just it. 
It won't do. You see, our party can't take up that kind 
of thing. It would be just setting up a fort from 'which our 
enemies could fire on us at their leisure. If I go in to the 
legislature, I have to go in by my party. I have to repre- 
sent my party, and, of course, I can't afford to do anything 
that will compromise them." 

" Well, now, Frank," said Clayton, seriously and soberly, 
" are you going to put your neck into such a noose as this, 
to be led about all your life long — the bond-slave of a 
party ? " 

" Not I, by a good deal ! " said Eussel. " The noose 
will change ends, one of these days, and I '11 drag the party. 
But we must all stoop to conquer, at first." 

" And do you really propose nothing more to yourself 
than how to rise in the world?" said Clayton. "Isn't 
there any great and good work that has beauty for you ? 
Is n't there anything in heroism and self-sacrifice ? " 

"Well," said Russel, after a short pause, "maybe 
there is ; but, after all, Clayton, is there ? The world looks 
to me like a confounded humbug, a great hoax, and every- 
body is going in for grub ; and, I say, hang it all, why 
shouldn't I have some of the grub, as well as the rest?" 

" Man shall not live by bread alone ! " said Clayton. 

" Bread 's a pretty good thing, though, after all," said 
Frank, shrugging his shoulders. 

" But," said Clayton, " Frank, I am in earnest, and 
you 've got to be. I want you to go with me down to the 



FRANK RUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 217 

depths of your soul, where the water is still, and talk to me 
on honor. This kind of half-joking- way that you have is n't 
a good sign, Frank ; it 's too old for you. A man that 
makes a joke of everything at your age, what will ho do 
before he is fifty ? Now, Frank, you do know that this sys- 
tem of slavery, if we don't reform it, will eat out this 
country like a cancer." 

" I know it," said Frank. " For that matter, it has eaten 
into us pretty well." 

" Now," said Clayton, " if for nothing else, if we had no 
feeling of humanity for the slave, we must do something for 
the sake of the whites, for this is carrying us back into bar- 
barism, as fast as we can go. Virginia has been ruined by 
it — run all down. North Carolina, I believe, has the enviable 
notoriety of being the most ignorant and poorest state in 
the Union. I don't believe there 's any country in old, des- 
potic Europe where the poor are more miserable, vicious, 
and degraded, than the} r are in our slave states. And it 's 
depopulating us ; our men of ability, in the lower classes, 
who want to be respectable, won't stand it. They will go 
off to some state where things move on. Hundreds and 
hundreds move out of North Carolina, every year, to the 
Western States. And it 's all this unnatural organization 
of society that does it. We have got to contemplate some 
mode of abolishing this evil. "We have got to take the first 
step towards progress, some time, or we ourselves are all 
undone." 

" Clayton," said Frank, in a tone now quite as serious as 
his own, " I tell you, as a solemn fact, that we can't do it. 
Those among us who have got the power in their hands 
are determined to keep it, and they are wide awake. They 
don't mean to let the first step be taken, because they 
don't mean to lay down their power. The three fifths vote 
that they get by it is a thing they won't part with. They '11 
die first. Why, just look at it ! There is at least twenfy- 
four millions of property held in this way. What do you 
suppose these men care about the poor whites, and the ruin 



238 PRANK russel's opinions. 

of the state, and all that ? The poor whites may go to the 
devil, for all them ; and as for the ruin of the state, it won't 
come in their day ; and ' after us the deluge/ you know. 
That ; s the talk ! These men are our masters ; they are 
yours ; they are mine ; they are masters of everybody in 
these United States. They can crack their whips over the 
head of any statesman or clergyman, from Maine to New 
Orleans, that disputes their will. They govern the country. 
Army, navy, treasury, church, state, everything is theirs ; 
and whoever is going to get up must go up on their ladder. 
There is n't any other ladder. There is n't an interest, not 
a body of men, in these whole United States, that they can't 
control ; and I tell you, Clayton, you might as well throw 
ashes into the teeth of the north wind, as undertake to fight 
their influence. Now, if there was any hope of doing any 
good by this, if there was the least prospect of succeeding, 
why, I 'd join in with you ; but there is n't. The thing is a 
fixed fact, and why should n't I climb up on it, as well as 
everybody else ? " 

"Nothing is fixed," said Clayton, "that isn't fixed in 
right. God and nature fight against evil." 

" They do, I suppose ; but it's a long campaign," said 
Frank, " and I must be on the side that will win while I 'm 
alive. Now, Clayton, to you I always speak the truth ; I 
won't humbug you. I worship success. I am of Frederick 
the Great's creed, ' that Providence goes with the strongest 
battalions.' 

" I wasn't made for defeat. I must have power. The 
preservation of this system, whole and entire, is to be the 
policy of the leaders of this generation. The fact is, they 
stand where it must be their policy. They must spread it 
over the whole territory. They must get the balance of 
power in the country, to build themselves up against the 
public opinion of mankind. 

" Why, Clayton, moral sentiment, as you call it, is a 
humbug ! The whole world acquiesces in what goes — they 
always have. There is a great outcry about slavery now ; 



FRANK EUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 239 

but let it succeed, and there won't be. When they can out- 
vote the Northern States, they '11 put them down. They have 
kept them subservient by intrigue so far, and by and by 
they '11 have the strength to put them down by force. Eng- 
land makes a fuss now ; but let them only succeed, and she '11 
be civil as a sheep. Of course, men always make a fuss 
about injustice, when they have nothing to gain by holding 
their tongues ; but England's mouth will be stopped with 
cotton — you '11 see it. They love trade, and hate war. 
And so the fuss of anti-slavery will die out in the world. 
Now, when you see what a poor hoax human nature is, 
what's the use of bothering? The whole race together 
are n't worth a button, Clayton, and self-sacrifice for such 
fools is a humbug. That 's my programme ! " 

" Well, Frank, you have made a clean breast ; so will I. 
The human race, as you say, may be a humbug, but it 's 
every man's duty to know for himself that he is n't one. I 
am not. I do not worship success, and will not. And if a 
cause is a right and honorable one, I will labor in it till I 
die, whether there is any chance of succeeding or not." 

" Well, now," said Frank Russel, " I dare say it 's so. I 
respect your sort of folks ; you form an agreeable heroic 
poem, with which one can amuse the tediousness of life. 
I suppose it won't do you any good to tell you that you are 
getting immensely unpopular, with what you are doing." 

" No," said Clayton, " it won't." 

" I am really afraid," said Russel, " that they '11 mob 
you, some of these bright days." 

"Very well," said Clayton. 

" 0, of course, I knew it would be very well ; but, say, 
Clayton, what do you want to get up a petition on that 
point for? Why don't you get up one to prevent the sepa- 
ration of families ? There 's been such a muss made about 
that in Europe, and all round the world, that it's rather the 
fashion to move about that a little. Politicians like to 
appear to intend to begin to do something about it. It has 
a pleasing effect, and gives the Northern editors and minis- 
n. 21 



240 FRANK RUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 

ters something to say, as an apology for our sins. Besides, 
there are a good many simple-hearted folks, who don't see 
very deep into things, that really think it possible to do 
something effective on this subject. If you get up a peti- 
tion for that, you might take the tide with you ; and I 'd do 
something about it, myself." 

" You know very well, Frank, for I told you, that it ? s no 
use to pass laws for that, without giving the slaves power 
to sue or give evidence, in case of violation. The improve- 
ment I propose touches the root of the matter." 

" That ; s the fact — it surely does ! " said Russel. "And, 
for that very reason, you '11 never carry it. Now, Clayton, 
I just want to ask you one question. Can you fight ? Will 
you fight ? Will you wear a bowie-knife and pistol, and 
shoot every fellow clown that comes at you ? " 

" Why, no, of course, Frank. You know that I never 
was a fighting man. Such brute ways are not to my taste." 

" Then, my dear sir, you should n't set up for a reformer 
in Southern states. Now, I '11 tell you one thing, Clayton, 
that I 've heard. You made some remarks at a public meet- 
ing, up at E., that have started a mad-dog cry, which I sup- 
pose came from Tom Gordon. See here ; have you noticed 
this article in the Trumpet of Liberty?" said he, looking 
over a confused stack of papers on his table. "Where 's 
the article ? 0, here it is." 

At the same time he handed Clayton a sheet bearing the 
motto " Liberty and union, now and forever, one and insepa- 
rable," and pointed to an ai'ticle headed 

" Covert Abolitionism ! Citizens, Beware ! 
"We were present, a few evenings ago, at the closing 
speech delivered before the Washington Agricultural So- 
ciety, in the course of which the speaker, Mr. Edward Clay- 
ton, gratuitously wandered away from his subject to make 
inflammatory and seditious comments on the state of the 
laws which regulate our negro population. It is time for 
the friends of our institutions to be awake. Such remarks, 



FEANK EUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 241 

dropped in the ear of a restless and ignorant population, 
will be a fruitful source of sedition and insurrection. This 
young man is supposed to be infected with the virus of 
Northern abolitionists. We cannot too narrowly watch the 
course of such individuals ; for the only price at which we 
can maintain liberty is eternal vigilance. Mr. Clayton be- 
longs to one of our oldest and most respected families, 
which makes his conduct the more inexcusable." 

Clayton perused this with a quiet smile, which was usual 
with him. 

" The hand of Joab is in that thing/ 7 said Frank Russel. 

"I'm sure I said very little," said Clayton. " I was 
only showing the advantage to our agriculture of a higher 
tone of moral feeling among our laborers, which, of course, 
led me to speak of the state of the law regulating them. I 
said nothing but what everybody knows." 

" But, don't you know, Clayton," said Russel, " that if a 
fellow has an enemy — anybody bearing him the least ill- 
will — that he puts a tremendous power in his hands by 
making such remarks ? Why, our common people are so 
ignorant that they are in the hands of anybody who wants 
to use them. They are just like a swarm of bees ; you can 
manage them by beating on a tin pan. And Tom Gordon 
has got the tin pan now, I fancy. Tom intends to be a 
swell. He is a born bully, and he '11 lead a rabble. And 
so you must take care. Your family is considerable for 
you ; but, after all, it won't stand you in stead for every- 
thing. Who have you got to back you 1 Who have you 
talked with ? " 

" Well," said Clayton, "I have talked with some of the 
ministry — " 

"And, of course," said Frank, "you found that the 
leadings of Providence did n't indicate that they are to be 
martyrs ! You have their prayers in secret, I presume ; and 
if you ever get the cause on the upper hill-side, they '11 
come out and preach a sermon for you. Now, Clayton, I '11 



242 FEANK EUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 

tell you what I '11 do. If Tom Gordon attacks you, I '11 pick 
a quarrel with him, and shoot him right off the reel. My 
stomach is n't nice about those matters, and that sort of 
thing 1 won't compromise me with my party." 

" Thank you," said Clayton, " I shall not trouble you." 

"My dear fellow," said Russel, "you philosophers are 
very much mistaken about the use of carnal weapons. As 
long as you wrestle with flesh and blood, you had better 
use fleshly means. At any rate, a gentlemanly brace of 
pistols won't hurt you ; and, in fact, Clayton, I am serious. 
You must wear pistols, — there are no two ways about it. 
Because, if these fellows know that a man wears pistols 
and will use them, it keeps them off. They have an objec- 
tion to being shot, as this is all the world they are likely to 
have. And I think, Clayton, you can fire off a pistol in as 
edifying and dignified a manner, as you can say a grace on 
proper occasions. The fact is, before long there will be a 
row kicked up. I 'm pretty sure of it. Tom Gordon is a 
deeper fellow than you 'd think, and he has booked himself for 
Congress ; and he means to go in on the thunder-and-blazes 
principle, which will give him the "vote of all the rabble. 
He '11 go into Congress to do the fighting and slashing. 
There always must be a bidly or two there, you know, to 
knock down fellows that you can't settle any other way. 
And nothing would suit him better, to get his name up, 
than heading a crusade against an abolitionist." 

"Well," said Clayton, " if it 's come to that, that we 
can't speak and discuss freely in our own state, where 
are we ? " 

" Where are we, my dear fellow ? Why, I know where 
we are ; and if you don't, it 's time you did. Discuss freely ? 
Certainly we can, on one side of the question ; or on both 
sides of any other question than this. But this you can't 
discuss freely, and they can't afford to let you, as long as 
they mean to keep their power. Do you suppose they are 
going to let these poor devils, whites, get their bandages 
off their eyes, that make them so easy to lead now ? There 



FRANK RUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 243 

would be a pretty bill to pay, if they did ! Just now, these 
fellows are in as safe and comfortable a condition for use as 
a party could desire ; because they have got votes, and we 
have the guiding of them. And they rage, and swear, and 
tear, for our institutions, because they are fools, and don't 
know what hurts them. Then, there 's the niggers. Those 
fellows are deep. They have as long ears as little pitchers, 
and they are such a sort of fussy set, that whatever is going 
on in the community is always in their mouths, and so comes 
up that old fear of insurrection. That 's the awful word, 
Clayton! That lies at the bottom of a good many things 
in our state, more than we choose to let on. These negroes 
are a black well ; you never know what 's at the bottom." 

" Well," said Clayton, "the only way, the only safeguard 
to prevent this is reform. They are a patient set, and will 
bear a great while ; and if they only see that anything is 
being done, it will be an effectual prevention. If you want 
insurrection, the only way is to shut down the escape- 
valve ; for, will ye nill ye, the steam must rise. You see, in 
this day, minds will grow. They are growing. There 's no 
help for it, and there ; s no force like the force of growth. 
I have seen a rock split in two by the growing of an elm- 
tree that wanted light and air, and would make its way up 
through it. Look at all the aristocracies of Europe. They 
have gone down under this force. Only one has stood — 
that of England. And how came that to stand ? Because 
it knew when to yield ; because it never confined dis- 
cussion ; because it gave way gracefully before the grow- 
ing force of the people. That 's the reason it stands to- 
day, while the aristocracy of France has been blown to 
atoms." 

" My dear fellow," said Russel, " this is all very true and 

convincing, no doubt ; but you won't make our aristocracy 

believe it. They have mounted the lightning, and they are 

going to ride it whip and spur. They are going to annex 

Cuba and the Sandwich Islands, and the Lord knows what, 

and have a great and splendid slaveholding empire. And 
n. 21* 



244 FRANK RUSSEL'S OPINIONS. 

the North is going to be what Greece was to Rome. We 
shall govern it, and it will attend to the arts of life for us. 
The South understands governing. We are trained to rule 
from the cradle. We have leisure to rule. We have 
nothing else to do. The free states have their factories, and 
their warehouses, and their schools, and their internal im- 
provements, to take up their minds ; and, if we are careful, 
and don't tell them too plain where we are taking them, 
they '11 never know it till they get there." 

"Well," said Clayton, "there's one element of force 
that you 've left out in your calculation." 

" And what 's that ? " said Eussel. 

" God," said Clayton. 

" I don't know anything about him," said Russel. 

"You may have occasion to learn, one of these days," 
said Clayton. " I believe he is alive yet." 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

TOM GORDON'S PLANS. 

Tom Gordon, in the mean while, had commen ed ruling 
his paternal plantation in a manner very different from the 
former indulgent system. His habits of reckless an 1 bound- 
less extravagance, and utter heedlessness, caused L's crav- 
ings for money to be absolutely insatiable ; and, withL. legal 
limits, he had as little care how it was come by, as a high- 
way robber. It is to be remarked that Tom Gordon v as a 
worse slaveholder and master from the very facts of cer- 
tain desirable qualities in his mental constitution ; for, as 
good wine makes the strongest vinegar, so fine natures 
perverted make the worse vice. Tom had naturally a per- 
fectly clear, perceptive mind, and an energetic, prompt 
temperament. It was impossible for him, as many do, to 
sophisticate and delude himself with false views. He 
marched up to evil boldly, and with his eyes open. He 
had very little regard for public opinion, particularly the 
opinion of conscientious and scrupulous people. So he car- 
ried his purposes, it was very little matter to him what any 
one thought of them or him ; they might complain till 
they were tired. 

After Clayton had left the place, he often pondered the 
dying words of Nina, "that he should care for her people ; 
that he should tell Tom to be kind to them."* There was 
such an impassable gulf between the two characters, that 
it seemed impossible that any peaceable communication 
should pass between them. Clayton thought within him- 
self that it was utterly hopeless to expect any good arising 



246 TOM GORDON'S PLANS. 

from the sending of Nina's last message. But the subject 
haunted him. Had he any right to withhold it ? Was it 
not his duty to try every measure, however apparently 
hopeless ? 

Under the impulse of this feeling, he one day sat down 
and wrote to Vom Gordon an account, worded with the 
utmost simplicity, of the last hours of his sister's life, 
hoping that he might read it, and thus, if nothing more, 
his own conscience be absolved. 

Death ard the grave, it is true, have sacred prerogatives, 
and it is ( f'ten in their power to awaken a love which did 
not appear in life. There are few so hard as not to be 
touched by the record of the last hours of those with whom 
they bave stood in intimate relations. A great moralist 
says, " There are few things not purely evil of which we 
can fay, without emotion, this is the last." 

T'ie letter was brought to Tom Gordon one evening 
wh m, for a wonder, he was by himself ; his associates 
bc:ng off on an excursion, while he was detained at home 
ly a temporary illness. He read it over, therefore, with 
some attention. He was of too positive a character, how- 
ever, too keenly percipient, not to feel immediate pain in 
view of it. A man of another nature might have melted 
in tears over it, indulged in the luxury of sentimental 
grief, and derived some comfort, from the exercise, to go on 
in ways of sin. Not so with Tom Gordon. He could not 
afford to indulge in anything that roused his moral nature, 
ne was doing wrong of set purpose, with defiant energy ; 
and his only way of keeping his conscience quiet was to 
maintain about him such a constant tumult of excitement 
as should drown reflection. He could not afford a tete-a-tete 
conversation with his conscience ; — having resolved, once 
for all, to go on in his own wicked way, serving the flesh 
and the devil, he had to watch against anything that 
might occasion uncomfortable conflict in his mind. He 
knew very well, lost man as he was, that there was some- 
thing sweet and pure, high and noble, against which he 



TOAI GORDON'S PLANS. 247 

was contending ; and the letter was only like a torch, 
which a fair angel might hold up, shining into the filthy lair 
of a demon. He could not bear the light : and he had no 
sooner read the note, than he cast it into the fire, and rang 
violently for a hot brandy-toddy, and a fresh case of cigars. 
The devil's last, best artifice to rivet the fetters of his cap- 
tives is the opportunity which these stimulants give them 
to command insanity at will. 

Tom Gordon was taken to bed drunk ; and, if a sorrow- 
ful guardian spirit hovered over him as he read the letter, 
he did not hear the dejected rustle of its retreating wings. 
The next day nothing was left, only a more decided antipa- 
thy to Clayton, for having occasioned him so disagreeable a 
sensation. 

Tom Gordon, on the whole, was not unpopular in his 
vicinity. He determined to rule them all, and he did. All 
that uncertain, uninstructed, vagrant population, which 
abound in slave states, were at his nod and beck. They 
were his tools — prompt to aid him in any of his purposes, 
and convenient to execute vengeance on his adversaries. 
Tom was a determined slaveholder. He had ability enough 
to see the whole bearings of that subject, from the begin- 
ning to the end ; and he was determined that, while he 
lived, the first stone should never be pulled from the edifice 
in his state. He was a formidable adversary, because 
what he wanted in cultivation he made up in unscrupulous 
energy ; and, where he might have failed in argument, he 
could conquer by the cudgel and the bludgeon. He was, 
as Frank Russel had supposed, the author of the paragraph 
which had appeared in the Trumpet of Freedom, which had 
already had its effect in awakening public suspicion. 

But what stung him to frenz} r , when he thought of it, 
was, that every effort which he had hitherto made to re- 
cover possession of Harry had failed. In vain he had 
sent out hunters and dogs. The swamp had been tracked 
in vain. He boiled and burned with fierce tides of passion, 
as he thought of him in his security defying his power. 



248 TOM GORDON'S PLANS. 

Some vague rumors had fallen upon his ear of the exist- 
ence, in the swamp, of a negro conspirator, of great energy 
and power, whose lair had never yet been discovered ; and 
he determined that he would raise heaven and earth to find 
him. He began to suspect that there was, somehow, un- 
derstanding and communication between Harry and those 
who were left on the plantation, and he determined to 
detect it. This led to the scene of cruelty and tyranny to 
which we made allusion in a former chapter. The mangled 
body was buried, and Tom felt neither remorse nor shame. 
Why should he, protected by the express words of legal 
decision ? He had only met with an accident in the exercise 
of his lawful power on a slave in the act of rebellion. 

"The fact is, Kite," he said, to his boon-companion, 
Theophilus Kite, as they were one day sitting together, 
"I'm bound to have that fellow. I'm going to publish a 
proclamation of outlawry, and offer a reward for his head. 
That will bring it in, I 'm thinking. I '11 put it up to a 
handsome figure, for that will be better than nothing." 

"Pity you couldn't catch him alive/' said Kite, "and 
make an example of him ! " 

" I know it," said Tom. " I 'd take him the long way 
round, that I would ! That fellow has been an eye-sore to 
me ever since I was a boy. I believe all the devils that 
are in me are up about him." 

"Tom," said Kite, "you've got the devil in you — no 
mistake ! " 

" To be sure I have," said Tom. " I only want a chance 
to express him. I wish I could get hold of the fellow's 
wife ! I could make him wince there, I guess. I '11 get 
her, too, one of these days ! But, now, Kite, I '11 tell 
you, the fact is, somebody round here is in league with 
him. They know about him, I know they do. There 's that 
squeaky, leathery, long-nosed Skinflint, trades with the nig- 
gers in the swamp — I know he does ! But he is a double- 
and-twisted liar, and you can't get anything out of him. 
One of these days I '11 burn up that old den of his, and 



TOM GORDON'S PLANS. 249 

shoot him, if he don't look out ! Jim Stokes told me that 
he slept down there, one night, when he was tracking-, and 
that he heard Skinflint talking with somebody between 
twelve and one o'clock ; and he looked out, and saw him 
selling powder to a nigger." 

" 0, that couldn't be Harry," said Kite. 

" No, but it 's one of the gang that he is in with. And, 
then, there 's that Hark. Jim says that he saw him talking', 
— giving a letter, that he got out of the post-office, to a man 
that rode off towards the woods. I thought we 'd have the 
truth out of his old hide ! But he did n't hold out as I 
thought he would." 

" Hokum don't understand his business," said Kite. 
"He shouldn't have used him up so fast." 

"Hokum is a bother," said Tom, "like all I he rest of 
those fellows ! Hark was a desperately-resolute fellow, and 
it's well enough he is dead, because he was getting sullen, 
and making the others rebellious. Hokum, you see, had 
taken a fancy to his wife, and Hark was jealous." 

" Quite a romance ! " said Kite, laughing. 

" And now I ; 11 tell you another thing," said Tom, " that 
I 'm bound to reform. There's a canting, sneaking, drib- 
bling, whining old priest, that's ravaging these parts, and 
getting up a muss among people about the abuses of the 
slaves ; and I 'm not going to have it. I 'm going to shut 
up his mouth. I shall inform him, pretty succinctly, that, if 
he does much more in this region, he'll be illustrated with 
a coat of tar-and-feathers." 

" Good for you ! " said Kite. 

"Now," said Tom, "I understand that to-night he is 
going to have a general snivelling season in the old log 
church, out on the cross run, and they are going to form 
a church on anti-slavery principles. Contemptible whelps ! 
Not a copper to bless themselves with ! Dirty, sweaty, 
greasy mechanics, with their spawn of children ! Think of 
the impudence of their getting together and passing anti- 
slavery resolutions, and resolving they won't admit slave- 



250 TOM goedon's plans. 

holders to the communion! I have a great mind to let them 
try the dodge, once ! By George, if I wouldn't walk up 
and take their bread and wine, and pitch it to thunder ! " 

" Are they really going to form such a church ? ;; 

"That's the talk," said Tom. "But they'll find they 
have reckoned without their host, I fancy ! You see, I just 
tipped Jim Stokes the wink. Says I, Jim, don't you think 
they '11 want you to help the music there, to-night ? Jim 
took at once ; and he said he would be on the ground with 
a dog or two, and some old tin pans. 0, we shall get them 
up an orchestra, I promise you 1 And some of our set are 
going over to see the fun. There's Bill Akers, and Bob 
Story, and Sim Dexter, will be over here to dinner, and 
towards evening we '11 ride over." 



CHAPTER XXV. 

LYNCH LAW. 

The rays of the afternoon sun were shining through the 
fringy needles of the pines. The sound of the woodpecker 
reverberated through the stillness of the forest, answering 
to thousand woodland notes. Suddenly, along the distant 
path, a voice is heard singing, and the sound comes strangely 
on the ear through the dreamy stillness : 

" Jesus Christ has lived and died — 
What is all the world beside ? 
This to know is all I need, 
This to know is life indeed. 
Other wisdom seek I none — 
Teach me this, and this alone : 
Christ for me has lived and died, 
Christ for me was crucified." 

And, as the last lines fall upon the ear, a figure, riding 
slowly on horseback, comes round the bend of the forest 
path. It is father Dickson. It was the habit of this good 
man, much of whose life was spent in solitary journeyings, 
to use the forest arches for that purpose for which they 
seemed so well designed, as a great cathedral of prayer 
and praise. He was riding with the reins loose over the 
horse's neck, and a pocket-Bible in his hand. Occasionally 
he broke out into snatches of song, like the one which we 
heard him singing a few moments ago. As he rides along 
now, he seems absorbed in mental prayer. Father Dickson, 
in truth, had cause to pray. The plainness of speech which 
he felt bound to use had drawn down upon him opposition 
n. 22 



252 LYNCH LAW. 

and opprobrium, and alienated some of his best friends. 
The support which many had been willing to contribute to 
his poverty was entirely withdrawn. His wife, in feeble 
health, was toiling- daily beyond her strength ; and hunger 
had looked in at the door, but each clay prayer had driven 
it away. The petition, "Give us this day our daily bread," 
had not yet failed to bring an answer ; but there was no 
bread for to-morrow. Many friendly advisers had told him 
that, if he would relinquish a futile and useless undertaking, 
he should have enough and to spare. He had been con- 
ferred with by the elders in a vacant church, in the town of 
E., who said to him, " We enjoy your preaching when you 
let alone controverted topics ; and if you '11 agree to confine 
yourself solely to the Gospel, and say nothing on any of 
the delicate and exciting subjects of the day, we shall rejoice 
in your ministrations." They pleaded with him his poverty, 
and the poor health of his wife, and the necessities of his 
children ; but he answered, " ' Man shall not live by bread 
alone.' God is able to feed me, and he will do it." They 
went away, saying that he was a fool, that he was crazy. 
He was not the first whose brethren had said, " He is be- 
side himself." 

As he rode along through the forest paths, he talked of 
his wants to his Master. " Thou knowest," he said, " how 
I suffer. Thou knowest how feeble my poor wife is, and 
how it distresses us both to have our children grow up 
without education. We cast ourselves on thee. Let us not 
deny thee ; let us not betray thee. Thou hadst not where 
to lay thy head ; let us not murmur. The disciple is not 
above his master, nor the servant above his lord." And 
then he sang : 

" Jesus, I my cross have taken, 

All to leave and follow thee ; 
Naked, poor, despised, forsaken, 

Thou my all henceforth shalt be ! 
Let the world despise and leave me — 

They have left my Saviour too ; 



LYNCH LAW. 253 

Human looks and words deceive me — 

Thou art not, like them, untrue ! 
And, while thou shalt smile upon me, 

God of wisdom, power, and might, 
Foes may hate, and friends disown me, 

Show thy face and all is bright ! " 

And, as he sang and prayed, that strange joy arose within 
him which, like the sweetness of night flowers, is born of 
darkness and tribulation. The soul hath in it somewhat of 
the divine, in that it can have joy in endurance beyond the 
joy of indulgence. 

They mistake who suppose that the highest happiness 
lies in wishes accomplished — in prosperity, wealth, favor, 
and success. There has been a joy in dungeons and on 
racks passing the joy of harvest. A joy strange and 
solemn, mysterious even to its possessor. A white stone 
dropped from that signet-ring, peace, which a dying Saviour 
took from his own bosom, and bequeathed to those who 
endure the cross, despising the shame. 

As father Dickson rode on, he lifted his voice, in solemn 
exultation : 

" Soul, then know thy full salvation ; 

Rise o'er fear, doubt, and care ; 
Joy to find, in every station, 

Something still to do or bear. 
Think what spirit dwells within thee ; 

Think what Father's smiles are thine ; 
Think that Jesus died to win thee ; 

Child of heaven, wilt thou repine ? 

At this moment Dr. Cushing, in the abundant comforts 
of his home, might have envied father Dickson in his deser- 
tion and poverty. For that peace seldom visited him. He 
struggled wearily along the ways of duty, never fulfilling 
his highest ideal ; wearied by confusing accusations of 
conscience, and deeming himself happy only because, hav- 
ing never lived in any other state, he knew not what hap- 
piness was like. He alternately condemned his brother's 



254 LYNCH LAW. 

rashness, and sighed as he thought of his uncompromising 
spirituality ; and once or twice he had written him a 
friendly letter of caution, enclosing him a five-dollar bill, 
wishing that he might succeed, begging that he would 
be careful, and ending with the pious wish that we might 
all be guided aright ; which supplication, in many cases, 
answers the purpose, in a man's inner legislation, of lay- 
ing troublesome propositions on the table. Meanwhile the 
shades of evening drew on, and father Dickson approached 
the rude church which stood deep in the shadow of the 
woods. In external appearance it had not the pretensions 
even of a New England barn, but still it had echoed 
prayers and praises from humble, sincere worshippers. 
As father Dickson rode up to the door, he was surprised 
to find quite a throng of men, armed with bludgeons and 
pistols, waiting before it. One of these now stepped for- 
ward, and, handing him a letter, said, 

" Here, I have a letter for you to read ! " 

Father Dickson put it calmly in his pocket. " I will read 
it after service," said he. 

The man then laid hold of his bridle. " Come out here ! " 
he said ; " I want to talk to you." 

" Thank you, friend, I will talk with you after meeting," 
said he. " It 's time for me to begin service." 

" The fact is," said a surly, wolfish-looking fellow, who 
came behind the first speaker, " the fact is, we an't going 

to have any of your d d abolition meetings here ! If he 

can't get it out, I can ! " 

" Friends," said father Dickson, mildly, " by what right 
do you presume to stop me ? " 

" We think," said the first man, "that you are doing 
harm, violating the laws — " 

" Have you any warrant from the civil authorities to stop 
me?" 

" No, sir," said the first speaker ; but the second one, 
ejecting a large quid of tobacco from his mouth, took up 
the explanation in a style and taste peculiarly his own. 



LYNCH LAW. 255 

" Now, old cock, you may as well know fust as last, that 
we don't care a cuss for the civil authorities, as you call 
them, 'cause we 's going to do what we darn please ; and 
we don't please have you yowping abolishionism round 
here, and putting deviltry in the heads of our niggers ! 
Now, that ar 's plain talk ! " 

This speech was chorused by a group of men on the steps, 
who now began to gather round and shout, 

" Give it to him ! That 's into him ! make the wool fly ! " 

Father Dickson, who was perfectly calm, now remarked 
in the shadow of the wood, at no great distance, three or 
four young men mounted on horses, who laughed brutally, 
and called out to the speaker, 

" Give him some more ! " 

" My friends," said father Dickson, " I came here to per- 
form a duty, at the call of my heavenly Master, and you 
have no right to stop me." 

" Well, how will you help yourself, old bird ? Supposing 
we have n't ? " 

" Remember, my friends, that we shall all stand side by 
side at the judgment seat to give an account for this night's 
transactions. How will you answer for it to God ? " 

A loud, sneering laugh came from the group under the 
trees, and a voice, which we recognize as Tom Gordon's, 
calls out, 

" He is coming the solemn dodge on you, boys ! Get on 
your long faces ! " 

" Come," said the roughest of the speakers, " this here 
■ don't go down with us ! We don't know nothing about no 
judgments ; and as to God, we an't none of us seen him, 
lately. Wo 'spect he don't travel round these parts." 

" The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the 
evil and the good," said father Dickson. 

Here one in the mob mewed like a cat, another barked 
like a dog, and the spectators under the tree laughed more 
loudly than ever. 

" I say," said the first speaker, " you shan't go to get- 
n. 22* 



256 LYNCH LAW. 

ting* up rat-traps and calling' 'em meetings ! This yer preach- 
ing o' yourn is a cussed sell, and we won't stand it no 
longer ! We shall have an insurrection among our niggers. 
Pretty business, getting up clrurches where you won't have 
slaveholders commune ! I 's got niggers myself, and I 
know I 's bigger slave than they be, and I wished I was 
shet of them ! But I an't going to have no d d old par- 
son dictating to me about my affairs ! And we won't, 
none of the rest of us, will we ? 'Cause them that an't got 
niggers now means to have. Don't we boys ? " 

"Ay, ay, that we do! Give it to him!" was shouted 
from the party. 

" It 's our right to have niggers, and we will have them, 
if we can get them," continued the speaker. 

" Who gave you the right ? " said father Dickson. 

"Who gave it ? Why, the constitution of the United 
States, to be sure, man ! Who did you suppose ? An't we 
got the freest government in the world ? Is we going to be 
shut out of communion, 'cause we holds niggers ? Don't 
care a cuss for your old communion, but it 's the principle 
I ? s going for ! Now, I tell you what, old fellow, we 've 
got you ; and you have got to promise, right off the reel, 
that you won't say another word on this yer subject." 

" Friend, I shall make no such promise," said father 
Dickson, in a tone so mild and steadfast that there was a 
momentary pause. 

" You 'd better," said a man in the crowd, " if you know 
what 's good for you ! " 

A voice now spoke from the circle of the young men, 

" Never cave in, boys ! " 

" No fear of us ! " responded the man who had taken 
the most prominent part in the dialogue hitherto. " We '11 
serve it out to him ! Now, ye see, old feller, ye 're treed, 
and may as well come down, as the coon said to Davy. 
You can't help yourself, 'cause we are ten to one ; and if 
you don't promise peaceable, we '11 make you ! " 

" My friends," said father Dickson, " I want you to think 



LYNCH LAW. 257 

what you are doing. Your good sense must teach you the 
impropriety of your course. You know that you are doing 
wrong. You know that it is n't right to trample on all law, 
both human and divine, out of professed love to it. You 
must see that your course will lead to perfect anarchy and 
confusion. The time may come when your opinions will be 
as unpopular as mine." 

" Well, what then ? " 

" Why, if your course prevails, you must be lynched, 
stoned, tarred and feathered. This is a two-edged sword 
you are using, and some clay you may find the edge turned 
towards you. You may be seized, just as you are seizing 
me. You know the men that threw Daniel into the den got 
thrown in themselves." 

" Daniel who ? " shouted one of the company ; and the 
young men under the tree laughed insultingly. 

" Why are you afraid to let me preach, this evening ? " said 
father Dickson. "Why can't you hear me, and, if I say 
anything false, why can't you show me the falsehood of it ? 
It seems to me it 's a weak cause that can only get along by 
stopping men's mouths." 

" No, no — we an't going to have it ! " said the man who 
had taken the most active part. " And now you 've got to 
sign a solemn promise, this night, that you won't ever open 
your mouth again about this yer subject, or we '11 make it 
worse for you ! " 

" I shall never make such a promise. You need not think 
to terrify me into it, for I am not afraid. You must kill me 
before you can stop me." 

"D n you, then, old man," said one of the young 

men, riding up by the side of him, " I '11 tell you what you 
shall do ! You shall sign a pledge to leave North Carolina 
in three days, and never come back again, and take your 
whole spawn and litter with you, or you shall be chastised 
for your impudence ! Now, look out, sir, for you are speak- 
ing to your betters ! Your insolence is intolerable ! What 
business have you passing strictures reflecting on the con- 



258 LYNCH LAW. 

duct of gentlemen of family ? Think yourself happy that 
we let you go out of the state without the punishment that 
your impudence deserves ! " 

"Mr. Gordon, I am sorry to hear you speaking in that 
way/' said father Dickson, composedly. "By right of 
your family, you certainly ought to know how to speak as 
a gentleman. You are holding language to me that you 
have no right to hold, and uttering threats that you have no 
means of enforcing." 

"You'll see if I haven't!" replied the other, with an 
oath. "Here, boys ! " 

He- beckoned one or two of the leaders to his side, and 
spoke with them in a low voice. One of them seemed in- 
clined to remonstrate. 

" No, no — it 's too bad ! " he said. 

But the others said, 

" Yes, it serves him right ! We '11 do it ! Hurra, boys ! 
We '11 help on the parson home, and help him kindle his 
fire ! " 

There was a general shout, as the whole party, striking 
up a ribald song, seized father Dickson's horse, turned him 
round, and began marching in the direction of his cabin in 
the woods. 

Tom Gordon and his companions, who rode foremost, filled 
the air with blasphemous and obscene songs, which entirely 
drowned the voice of father Dickson whenever he attempted 
to make himself heard. Before they started, Tom Gordon 
had distributed freely of whiske3 r among them, so that what 
little manliness there might have been within seemed to be 
"set on fire of hell." It was one of those moments that try 
men's souls. 

Father Dickson, as he was hurried along, thought of that 
other one, who was led by an infuriate mob through the 
streets of Jerusalem, and he lifted his heart in prayer to 
the Apostle and High Priest of his profession, the God in 
Jesus. When they arrived before his little cabin, he made 
one more effort to arrest their attention. 



LYNCH LAW. 259 

"My brethren," he said. 

" None of your brethren ! Stop that cant ! " said Tom 
Gordon. 

"Hear me one word," said father Dickson. " My wife 
is quite feeble. I 'm sure you wouldn't wish to hurt a sick 
woman, who never did harm to any mortal creature." 

" Well, then," said Tom Gordon, facing round to him, "if 
you care so very much about your wife, you can very easily 
save her any further trouble. Just give lis the promise we 
want, and we '11 go away peaceably, and leave you. But, 
if you won't, as true as there is a God in heaven, we ; 11 pull 
down every stick of timber in your old kennel ! I '11 tell you 
what, old man, you 've got a master to deal with, now ! " 

" I cannot promise not to preach upon this subject." 

"Well, then, you must promise to take yourself out of 
the state. You can go among your Northern brethren, and 
howl and mawl round there ; but we are not going to have 
you here. I have as much respect for respectable ministers 
of the Gospel as any one, when they confine themselves to 
the duties of their calling ; but, when they come down to 
be intriguing in our worldly affairs, they must expect to be 
treated as we treat other folks that do that. Their black 
coats shan't protect them ! We are not going to be priest- 
ridden, are we, boys ? " 

A loud whoop of inflamed and drunken merriment cho- 
rused this question. Just at this moment the door of the 
cottage was opened, and a pale, sickly-looking woman came 
gliding out to the gate. 

" My dear," she said, and her voice was perfectly calm, 
" don't yield a hair's breadth, on my account. I can bear 
as well as you. I am not afraid. I am ready to die for 
conscience' sake. Gentlemen," she said, " there is not much 
in this house of any value, except two sick children. If it 
is agreeable to you to pull it down, you can do it. Our 
goods are hardly worth spoiling, but you can spoil them. 
My husband, be firm ; don't yield an inch ! " 

It is one of the worst curses of slavery that it effaces 



260 LYNCH LAW. 

from the breast all manly feeling 1 with regard to woman. 
Every one remembers the story how the frail and delicate 
wife of Lovejoy placed her weakness as a shield before the 
chamber door where her husband was secreted, and was 
fought with brutal oaths and abuse by the drunken gang, 
who were determined to pass over her body, if necessary, 
to his heart ! They who are trained to whip women in a 
servile position, of course can have none of the respect which 
a free man feels for woman as woman. They respect the 
sex when they see it enshrined by fashion, wealth, and 
power ; but they tread it in the dust when in poverty and 
helplessness it stands in the path of their purposes. 

"Woman," said Tom Gordon, "you are a fool ! You 
need n't think to come it round us with any of that talk ! 
You need n't think we are going to stop on your account, 
for we shan't ! We know what we are about." 

" So does God ! " said the woman, fixing her eye on him 
with one of those sudden looks of power with which a 
noble sentiment sometimes lights up for a moment the 
weakest form. 

There was a momentary pause, and then Tom broke out 
into oaths and curses. 

" I '11 tell you what, boys," he said, " we had better bring 
matters to a point ! Here, tie him up to this tree, and give 
him six-and-thirty ! He is so dreadful fond of the niggers, 
let him fare with them ! We know how to get a promise 
out of him ! " 

The tiger was now fully awake in the crowd. Wild 
oaths and cries of " Give it to him ! Give it to him, G — d 
d n him ! " arose. 

Father Dickson stood calm ; and, beholding him, they saw 
his face as if it had been that of an angel, and they gnashed 
on him with their teeth. A few moments more, and he was 
divested of his outer garments, and bound to a tree. 

" Now will you promise ? " said Tom Gordon, taking out 
his watch. " I give you five minutes." 

The children, now aroused, were looking out, crying, from 



LYNCH LAW. 261 

the door. His wife walked out and took her place before 
him. 

" Stand out of the way, old woman ! " said Tom Gordon. 

"I will not stand out of the way! " she said, throwing 
her arms round her husband. " You shall not get to him 
but over my body ! " 

" Ben Hyatt, take her away i " said Tom Gordon. " Treat 
her decently, as long as she behaves herself." 

A man forced her away. She fell fainting on his shoulder. 

"Lay her clown," said Tom Gordon. " Now, sir, your 
five minutes are up. What have } r ou got to say ? " 

" I have to say that I shall not comply with your de- 
mands." 

"Very well," said Tom, "it's best to be explicit." 

He drew his horse a little back, and said to a man who 
was holding a slave-whip behind, 

" Give it to him ! " 

The blows descended. He uttered no sound. The mob, 
meanwhile, tauntingly insulted him. 

" How do you like it ? What do you think of it ? Preach 
us a sermon, now, can't you ? Come, where 's your text ? " 

"He is getting stars and stripes, now ! " said one. 

" I reckon he '11 see stars ! " said another. 

" Stop," said Tom Gordon. " Well, my friend," he said, 
"you see we are in earnest, and we shall carry this 
through to the bitter end, you may rely on it. You won't 
get any sympathy ; you won't get any support. There 
an't a minister in the state that will stand by you. They 
all have sense enough to let our affairs alone. They 'd any 
of them hold a candle here, as the good elder did when they 
thrashed Dresser, clown at Nashville. Come, now, will you 
cave in? " 

But at this moment the conversation was interrupted by 
the riding up of four or five gentlemen on horseback, the 
headmost of whom was Clayton. 

" What 's this ? " he exclaimed, hurriedly. " What, Mr. 



262 LYNCH LAW. 

Gordon — father Dickson ! What — what am I to under- 
stand by this ? " 

" Who the devil cares what you understand ? It 's no 
business of yours," said Tom Gordon ; "so stand out of my 



way 



! " 



"I shall make it some of my business/' said Clayton, 
turning' round to one of his companions. " Mr. Brown, 
you are a magistrate ? " 

Mr. Brown, a florid, puffy-looking old gentleman, now 
rode forward. 

" Bless my soul, but this is shocking ! Mr. Gordon, 
don't ! how can you ? My boys, you ought to consider ! " 

Clayton, meanwhile, had thrown himself off his horse, and 
cut the cords which bound father Dickson to the tree. The 
sudden reaction of feeling overcame him. He fell, fainting. 

"Are you not ashamed of yourselves?" said Clayton, 
indignantly glancing round. " Is n't this pretty business 
for great, strong men like you, abusing ministers that you 
know won't fight, and women and children that you know 
can't ! " 

" Do you mean to apply that language to me ? " said Tom 
Gordon. 

" Yes, sir, I do mean just that ! " said Clayton, looking at 
him, while he stretched his tall figure to its utmost height. 

"Sir, that remark demands satisfaction." 

"You are welcome to all the satisfaction you can get," 
said Clayton, coolly. 

"You shall meet me," said Tom Gordon, "where you 
shall answer for that remark ! " 

" I am not a fighting man," said Clayton ; " but, if I were, 
I should never consent to meet any one but my equals. 
When a man stoops to do the work of a rowdy and a bully, 
he falls out of the sphere of gentlemen. As for you," said 
Clayton, turning to the rest of the company, " there 's more 
apology for you. You have not been brought up to know 
better. Take my advice ; disperse yourselves now, or I 
shall take means to have this outrage brought to justice." 



LYNCH LAW. 263 

There is often a magnetic force in the appearance, amid 
an excited mob, of a man of commanding presence, who 
seems perfectly calm and decided. The mob stood irreso- 
lute. 

" Come, Tom," said Kite, pulling him by the sleeve, 
"we 've given him enough, at any rate." 

"Yes, yes," said Mr. Brown, "Mr. Gordon, I advise 
you to go home. We must all keep the peace, you know. 
Come, boys, you 've done enough for one night, I should 
hope ! Go home, now, and let the old man be ; and there 's 
something to buy you a treat, down at Skinflint's. Come, 
do the handsome, now ! " 

Tom Gordon sullenly rode away, with his two associates 
each side ; but, before he went, he said to Clayton, 

" You shall hear of me again, one of these days ! " 

" As you please," said Clayton. 

The party now set themselves about recovering and com- 
forting the frightened family. The wife was carried in and 
laid down on the bed. Father Dickson was soon restored 
so as to be able to sit up, and, being generally known and 
respected by the company, received many expressions of 
sympathy and condolence. One of the men was an elder 
in the church which had desired his ministerial services. 
He thought this a good opportunity of enforcing some of 
his formerly expressed opinions. 

"Now, father Dickson," he said, "this just shows you 
the truth of what I was telling you. This course of yours 
won't do : you see it won't, now. Now, if you 'd agree 
not to say anything of these troublesome matters, and just 
confine yourself to the preaching of the Gospel, you see 
you would n't get into any more trouble ; and, after all, it 's 
the Gospel that 's the root of the matter. The Gospel will 
gradually correct all these evils, if you don't say anything 
about them. You see, the state of the community is pecu- 
liar. They won't bear it. We feel the evils of slavery just 
as much as you do. Our souls are burdened under it," he 
said, complacently wiping his face with his handkerchief. 
B 23 



264 LYNCH LAW. 

" But Providence does n't appear to open any door here for 
us to do anything'. I think we ought to abide on the patient 
waiting on the Lord, who, in his own good time, will bring 
light out of darkness, and order out of confusion." 

This last phrase being a part of a stereotyped exhortation 
with which the good elder was wont to indulge his brethren 
in church prayer-meetings, he delivered it in the sleepy 
drawl which he reserved for such occasions. 

"Well," said father Dickson, "I must say that I don't 
see that the preaching of the Gospel, in the way we have 
preached it hitherto, has done anything to rectify the evil. 
It 's a bad sign if our preaching does n't make a conflict. 
When the apostles came to a place, they said, ' These men 
that turn the world upside down are come hither.' " 

"But," said Mr. Brown, "you must consider our insti- 
tutions are peculiar ; our negroes ai'e ignorant and inflam- 
mable, easily wrought upon, and the most frightful conse- 
quences may result. That 's the reason why there is so 
much sensation when any discussion is begun which relates 
to them. Now, I was in Nashville when that Dresser affair 
took place. He hadn't said a word — he hadn't opened 
his mouth, even — but he was known to be an abolitionist ; 
and so they searched his trunks and papers, and there they 
found documents expressing abolition sentiments, sure 
enough. Well, everybody, ministers and elders, joined in 
that affair, and stood by to see him whipped. I thought, 
myself, they went too far. But there is just where it is. 
People are not reasonable, and they won't be reasonable, in 
such cases. It 's too much to ask of them ; and so every- 
body ought to be cautious. Now, I wish, for my part, that 
ministers would confine themselves to their appropriate 
duties. ' Christ's kingdom is not of this world.' And, 
then, you don't know Tom Gordon. He is a terrible fellow ! 
I never want to come in conflict with him. I thought I 'd 
put the best face on it, and persuade him away. I didn't 
want to make Tom Gordon my enemy. And I think, Mr. 
Dickson, if you must preach these doctrines, I think it would 



LYNCH LAW. 265 

be best for you to leave the state. Of course, we don't 
want to restrict any man's conscience ; but when any kind 
of preaching excites brawls and confusion, and inflames 
the public mind, it seems to be a duty to give it up." 

"Yes," said Mr. Cornet, the elder, "we ought to follow 
the things which make for peace — such things whereby 
one may edify another." 

" Don't you see, gentlemen," said Mr. Clayton, "that such 
a course is surrendering our liberty of free speech into the 
hands of a mob ? If Tom Gordon may dictate what is to 
be said on one subject, he may on another ; and the rod 
which has been held over our friend's head to-night may be 
held over ours. Independent of the right or wrong of 
father Dickson's principles, he ought to maintain his posi- 
tion, for the sake of maintaining the right of free opinion in 
the state." 

" Why," said Mr. Cornet, " the Scripture saith, ' If they 
persecute you into one city, flee ye into another.' " 

" That was said," said Clayton, " to a people that lived 
under despotism, and had no rights of liberty given them 
to maintain. But, if we give way before mob law, we make 
ourselves slaves of the worst despotism on earth." 

But Clayton spoke to men whose ears were stopped by 
the cotton of slothfulness and love of ease. They rose up, 
and said, 

" It was time for them to be going." 

Clayton expressed his intention of remaining over the 
night, to afford encouragement and assistance to his friends, 
in case of any further emergency. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

MORE VIOLENCE. 

Clayton rose the next morning', and found his friends 
much better than he had expected after the agitation and 
abuse of the night before. They seemed composed and 
cheerful. 

"I am surprised/' he said, "to see that your wife is able 
to be up this morning." 

" They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength," 
said father Dickson. " How often I have found it so ! We 
have seen times when I and my wife have both been so ill 
that we scarcely thought we had strength to help ourselves ; 
and a child has been taken ill, or some other emergency has 
occurred that called for immediate exertion, and we have 
been to the Lord and found strength. Our way has been 
hedged up many a time — the sea before us and the Egyp- 
tians behind us ; but the sea has always opened when we 
have stretched our hands to the Lord. I have never sought 
the Lord in vain. He has allowed great troubles to come 
upon us ; but he always delivers us." 

Clayton recalled the sneering, faithless, brilliant Frank 
Russel, and compared him, in his own mind, with the sim- 
ple, honest man before him. 

" No," he said, to himself, " human nature is not a hum- 
bug, after all. There are some real men — some who will 
not acquiesce in what is successful, if it be wrong." 

Clayton was in need of such living examples ; for, in re- 
gard to religion, he was in that position which is occupied 
by too many young men of high moral sentiment in this 



MORE VIOLENCE. 267 

country. What he had seen of the worldly policy and time- 
serving- spirit of most of the organized bodies professing to 
represent the Christian faith and life, had deepened the 
shadow of doubt and distrust which persons of strong indi- 
viduality and discriminating minds are apt to feel in certain 
stages of their spiritual development. Great afflictions — ■ 
those which tear up the roots of the soul — are often suc- 
ceeded, in the course of the man's history, by a period of 
scepticism. The fact is, such afflictions are disenchanting 
powers ; they give to the soul an earnestness and a power 
of discrimination which no illusion can withstand. They 
teach us what we need, what we must have to rest upon ; 
and, in consequence, thousands of little formalities, and 
empty shows, and dry religious conventionalities, are scat- 
tered by it like chaff. The soul rejects them, in her indig- 
nant anguish ; and, finding so much that is insincere, and 
untrue, and unreliable, she has sometimes hours of doubting 
all things. 

Clayton saw again in the minister what he had seen in 
Nina — a soul swayed by an attachment to an invisible per- 
son, whose power over it was the power of a personal at- 
tachment, and who swayed it, not by dogmas or commands, 
merely, but by the force of a sympathetic emotion. Be- 
holding, as in a glass, the divine image of his heavenly 
friend, insensibly to himself the minister was changing into 
the same image. The good and the beautiful to him was 
an embodied person, — even Jesus his Lord. 

" What may be your future course ? " said Clayton, with 
anxiety. " Will you discontinue your labors in this state ?" 

" I may do so, if I find positively that there is no gaining 
a hearing," said father Dickson. " I think we owe it to our 
state not to give up the point without a trial. There are 
those who are willing to hear me — willing to make a be- 
ginning with me. It is true they are poor and unfashion- 
able ; but still it is my duty not to desert them till I have 
tried, at least, whether the laws can't protect mo in the ex- 
ercise of my duty. The hearts of all men are in the hands 
n. 23* 



268 MORE VIOLENCE. 

of the Lord. He turneth them as the rivers of water are 
turned. This evil is a great and a trying one. It is grad- 
ually lowering the standard of morals in our churches, till 
men know not what spirit they are of. I held it my duty 
not to yield to the violence of the tyrant, and hind myself 
to a promise to leave, till I had considered what the will of 
my Master would he." 

"I should be sorry/' said Clayton, "to think that North 
Carolina could n't protect you. I am sure, when the par- 
ticulars of this are known, there will be a general reproba- 
tion from all parts of the country. You might remove to 
some other part of the state, not cursed by the residence of 
a man like Tom Gordon. I will confer with my uncle, your 
friend Dr. Gushing, and see if some more eligible situation 
cannot be found, where you can prosecute your labors. He 
is at this very time visiting his wife's father, in G., and I 
will ride over and talk with him to-day. Meanwhile," said 
Clayton, as he rose to depart, "allow me to leave with you 
a little contribution to help the cause of religious freedom 
in which you are engaged." 

And Clayton, as he shook hands with his friend and his 
wife, left an amount of money with them such as had not 
crossed their palms for many a day. Bidding them adieu, 
a ride of a few hours carried him to E., where he communi- 
cated to Dr. Gushing the incidents of the night before. 

" Why, it 's perfectly shocking — abominable ! " said Dr. 
Cushing. " Why, what are we coming to ? My dear 
young friend, this shows the necessity of prayer. ' When 
the enemy cometh in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord 
must lift up a standard against him.' " 

"My dear uncle," said Clayton, rather impatiently, "it 
seems to me the Lord has lifted up a standard in the person 
of this very man, and people are too cowardly to rally 
around it." 

" Well, my dear nephew, it strikes me you are rather ex- 
cited," said Dr. Cushing, good-naturedly. 

" Excited ? " said Clayton. " I ought to be excited ! You 



MORE VIOLENCE. 269 

ought to be excited, too ! Here 's a good man beginning 
what you think a necessary refurm, and who does it in a 
way perfectly peaceable and lawful, who is cloven down un- 
der the hoof of a mob, and all you can think of doing is to 
pray to the Lord to raise up a standard ! What would you 
think, if a man's house were on fire, and he should sit pray- 
ing the Lord that in his mysterious providence he would put 
it out ? " 

" 0, the cases are not parallel," said Dr. Cushing. 

"I think they are," said Clayton. "Our house is the 
state, and our house is on fire by mob law ; and, instead of 
praying the Lord to put it out, you ought to go to work 
and put it out yourself. If all you ministers would make a 
stand against this, uncle, and do all you can to influence 
those to whom you are preaching, it wouldn't be done 
again." 

"I am sure I should be glad to do something. Poor 
father Dickson ! such a good man as he is ! But, then, I 
think, Clayton, he was rather imprudent. It don't do, this 
unadvised way of proceeding. We ought to watch against 
rashness, I think. We are too apt to be precipitate, and 
not await the leadings of Providence. Poor Dickson ! I 
tried to caution him, the last time I wrote to him. To be 
sure, it 's no excuse for them ; but, then, I '11 write to 
brother Barker on the subject, and we '11 see if we can't 
get an article in the Christian Witness. I don't think it 
would be best to allude to these particular circumstances, 
or to mention any names ; but there might be a general arti- 
cle on the importance of maintaining the right of free 
speech, and of course people can apply it for themselves." 

"You remind me," said Clayton, " of a man who pro- 
posed commencing an attack on a shark by throwing a 
sponge at him. But, now, really, uncle, I am concerned for 
the safety of this good man. Is n't there any church near 
you to which he can be called ? I heard him at the camp- 
meeting, and I think he is an excellent preacher." 

"There are a good many churches," said Dr. Oushing, 



270 MORE VIOLENCE. 

" which would be glad of him, if it were not fur the course 
he pursues on that subject ; and I really can't feel that he 
does right to throw away his influence so. He might be 
the means of converting souls, if he would only be quiet 
about this." 

"Be quiet about fashionable sins," said Clayton, "in or- 
der to get a chance to convert souls ! What sort of con- 
Verts are those who are not willing to hear the truth on 
every subject ? I should doubt conversions that can only 
be accomplished by silence on great practical immoralities." 

" But," said Dr. Gushing, " Christ and the apostles didn't 
preach on the abuses of slavery, and. they alluded to it as 
an existing institution." 

" Nor did they preach on the gladiatorial shows," said 
Clayton; "and Paul draws many illustrations from them. 
Will you take the principle that everything is to be let 
alone now about which the apostles didn't preach directly ? " 

" I don't want to enter into that discussion now," said 
Dr. Cushing. " I believe I '11 ride over and see brother 
Dickson. After all, he is a dear, good man, and I love 
him. I 'd like to do something for him, if I were not afraid 
it might be misunderstood." 

Toward evening, however, Clayton, becoming uneasy at 
the lonely situation of his clerical friend, resolved to ride 
over and pass the night with him, for the sake of protecting 
him ; and, arming himself with a brace of pistols, he j>ro- 
ceeded on his ride. As the day had been warm, he put off 
his purpose rather late, and darkness overtook him before 
he had quite accomplished his journey. 

Riding deliberately through the woodland path in the 
vicinity of the swamp, he was startled by hearing the tramp 
of horses' hoofs behind him. Three men, mounted on horse- 
back, were coming up, the headmost of whom, riding up 
quickly behind, struck him so heavy a blow with a gutta 
percha cane, as to fell him to the earth. In an instant, 
however, he was on his feet again, and had seized the bridle 
of his horse. 



MORE VIOLENCE. 271 

" Who are you ? " said be ; for, by the dim light that 
remained of the twilight, he could perceive that they all 
wore masks. 

'■' AVe are men,'' said one of them, whose voice Clayton 
did not recognize, " that know how to deal with fellows who 
insult gentlemen, and then refuse to give them honorable 
satisfaction. " ; 

" And/' said the second speaker, " we know how to deal 
with renegade abolitionists, who are covertly undermining 
our institutions." 

" And,'' said Clayton, coolly, " you understand how to be 
cowards ; for none but cowards would come three to one, 
and strike a man from behind ! Shame on you ! Well, 
gentlemen, act your pleasure. Your first blow has disabled 
my right arm. If you wish my watch and my purse, you 
may help yourselves, as cut-throats generall}' do ! "' 

The stinging contempt which was expressed in these last 
words seemed to enrage the third man, who had not spoken. 
With a brutal oath, he raised his cane again, and struck at 
him. 

" Strike a wounded man, who cannot help himself — do ! " 
said Clayton. "Show yourself the coward you are ! You 
are brave in attacking defenceless women and children, and 
ministers of the Gospel ! " 

This time the blow felled Clayton to the earth, and Tom 
Gordon, precipitating himself from his saddle, proved his 
eligibility for Congress by beating his defenceless acquaint- 
ance on the head, after the fashion of the chivalry of South 
Carolina. But, at this moment, a violent blow from an unseen 
hand struck his right arm, and it fell, broken, at his side. 
Mad with pain, he poured forth volumes of oaths, such as 
our readers have never heard, and the paper refuses to re- 
ceive. And a deep voice said from the woods, 

" Woe to the bloody and deceitful man ! " 

" Look for the fellow ! where is he ? " said Tom Gordon. 

The crack of a rifle, and a bullet which passed right over 



272 MORE VIOLENCE. 

his head, answered from the swamp, and the voice, which 
he knew was Harry's, called from within the thicket, 

"Tom Gordon, beware! Remember Hark!" At the 
same time another rifle-shot came over their heads. 

" Come, come," said the other two, "there 's a gang of 
them. We had better be off. You can't do anything with 
that broken arm, there." And, helping Tom into the sad- 
dle, the three rode away precipitately. 

As soon as they were gone, Harry and Dred emerged 
from the thicket. The latter was reported among his people 
to have some medical and surgical skill He raised Clayton 
up, and examined him carefully. 

" He is not dead," he said. 

" What shall we do for him ? " said Harry. " Shall we 
take him along to the minister's cabin ? " 

" No, no," said Dred ; " that would only bring the Phil- 
istines upon him ! " 

" It 's full three miles to E.," said Harry. " It wouldn't 
do to risk going there." 

" No, indeed," said Dred. " We must take him to our 
stronghold of Engedi, even as Samson bore the gates of 
Gaza. Our women shall attend him, and when he is recov- 
ered we will set him on his journey." 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

ENGEDI. 

The question may occur to our readers, why a retreat 
which appeared so easily accessible to the negroes of the 
vicinity in which our story is laid, should escape the vigi- 
lance of hunters. 

In all despotic countries, however, it will be found that 
the oppressed party become expert in the means of secrecy. 
It is also a fact that the portion of the community who are 
trained to labor enjoy all that advantage over the more 
indolent portion of it which can be given by a vigorous 
physical system, and great capabilities of endurance. With- 
out a doubt, the balance of the physical strength of the South 
now lies in the subject race. Usage familiarizes the dwell- 
ers of the swamp with the peculiarities of their location, 
and gives them the advantage in it that a mountaineer has 
in his own mountains. Besides, they who take their life in 
their hand exercise their faculties with more vigor and 
clearness than they who have only money at stake ; and this 
advantage the negroes had over the hunters. 

Dred's " strong hold of Engedi," as we have said, was 
isolated from the rest of the swamp by some twenty yards 
of deep morass, in which it was necessary to wade almost 
to the waist. The shore presented to the eye only the 
appearance of an impervious jungle of cat-brier and grape- 
vino rising out of the water. There was but one spot 
on which there was a clear space to set foot on, and that 
was the place where Dred crept up on the night when wo 
first introduced the locality to our readers' attention. 



274 ENGEDI. 

The hunters generally satisfied themselves with exploring 
more apparently accessible portions ; and, unless betrayed 
by those to whom Dred had communicated the clue, there 
was very little chance that any accident would ever disclose 
the retreat. 

Dred himself appeared to be gifted with that peculiar 
faculty of discernment of spirits which belonged to his father, 
Denmark Vesey, sharpened into a preternatural intensity 
by the habits of his wild and dangerous life. The men he 
selected for trust were men as impenetrable as himself, the 
most vigorous in mind and body on all the plantations. 

The perfectness of his own religious enthusiasm, his 
absolute certainty that he was inspired of God, as a leader 
and deliverer, gave him an ascendency over the minds of 
those who followed him, which nothing but religious enthu- 
siasm ever can give. And this was further confirmed by 
the rigid austerity of his life. For all animal comforts he 
appeared to entertain a profound contempt. He never tasted 
strong liquors in any form, and was extremely sparing in his 
eating; often fasting for days in succession, particularly 
when he had any movement of importance in contemplation. 

It is difficult to fathom the dark recesses of a mind 
so powerful and active as his, placed under a pressure of 
ignorance and social disability so tremendous. In those 
desolate regions which he made his habitation, it is said 
that troes often, from the singularly unnatural and wildly 
stimulating properties of the slimy depths from which they 
spring, assume a goblin growth, entirely different from their 
normal habit. All sorts of vegetable monsters stretch their 
weird, fantastic forms among its shadows. There is no 
principle so awful through all nature as the principle of 
growth. It is a mysterious and dread condition of existence, 
which, place it under what impediment or disadvantage you 
will, is constantly forcing on ; and when unnatural pressure 
hinders it, develops in forms portentous and astonishing. 
The wild, dreary belt of swamp-land which girds in those 
states scathed by the fires of despotism is an apt emblem, 



EXGEDI. 270 

in its rampant and we might say delirious exuberance of 
vegetation, of that darkly struggling, wildly vegetating 
swamp of human souls, cut off, like it, from the usages and 
improvements of cultivated life. 

Beneath that fearful pressure, souls whose energy, well- 
directed, might have blessed mankind, start out in preter- 
natural and fearful developments,- whose strength is only a 
portent of dread. 

The night after the meeting which we have described 
was one, to this singular being, of agonizing conflict. His 
psychological condition, as near as we can define it, seemed to 
be that of a human being who had been seized and possessed, 
after the manner related in ancient fables, by the -wrath of 
an avenging God. That part of the moral constitution, which 
exists in some degree in us all, which leads us to feel pain 
at the sight of injustice, and to desire retribution for cruelty 
and crime, seemed in him to have become an absorbing sen- 
timent, as if he had been chosen by some higher power as 
the instrument of doom. At some moments the idea of the 
crimes and oppressions which had overwhelmed his race 
rolled in upon him with a burning pain, which caused him 
to cry out, like the fated and enslaved Cassandra, at the 
threshold of the dark house of tyranny and blood. 

This sentiment of justice, this agony in view of cruelty and 
crime, is in men a strong attribute of the highest natures ; 
for he who is destitute of the element of moral indignation 
is effeminate and tame. But there is in nature and in the 
human heart a pleading, interceding element, which comes 
in constantly to temper and soften this spirit and this ele- 
ment in the divine mind, which the Scriptures represent by 
the sublime image of an eternally interceding high priest, 
who, having experienced every temptation of humanity, 
constantly ui'ges all that can be thought in mitigation of 
justice. As a spotless and high-toned mother bears in her 
bosom the anguish of the impurity and vileness of her child, 
so the eternally suffering, eternally interceding love of 
Christ bears the sins of our race. But the Scriptures tell us 
n 24 



276 ENGED 

that the mysteriousperson, who thus stands before all worlds 
as the image and impersonation of divine tenderness, has 
yet in reserve this awful energy of wrath. The oppressors, 
in the last dread day, are represented as calling to the 
mountains and rocks to fall on them, and hide them from the 
wrath of the Lamb. This idea had dimly loomed up before 
the mind of Dred, as he read and pondered the mysteries 
of the sacred oracles ; and was expressed by him in the form 
of language so -frequent in his mouth, that " the Lamb was 
bearing the yoke of 'the sins of men." He had been deeply 
affected by the presentation which Milly had made in their 
night meeting of the eternal principle of intercession and 
atonement. The sense of it was blindly struggling with the 
habitual and overmastering sense of oppression and wrong. 
When his associates had all dispersed to their dwellings, 
he threw himself on his face, and prayed, " 0, Lamb of God, 
that bearest the yoke, why hast thou filled me with wrath ? 
Behold these graves ! Behold the graves of my brothers, 
slain without mercy, and, Lord, they do not repent ! Thou 
art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on 
iniquity. Wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treach- 
erously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth 
the man that is more righteous than he ? They make men as 
fishes in the sea, as creeping things that have no ruler over 
them. They take them up with the angle. They catch them 
in their net, and gather them in their drag. Therefore they 
rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice unto their 
net, and burn incense unto their drag, because by them 
their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. Shall they, 
therefore, empty their net, and not spare continually to 
slay the nations ? Did not he that made them in the womb 
make us ? Did not the same God fashion us in the womb ? 
Doubtless thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant 
of us, and Israel acknowledged us not. Thou, God, art 
our Father, our Redeemer. Wherefore forgettest thou us for- 
ever, and forsakest us so long a time ? Wilt thou not judge 
between us and our enemies ? Behold, there is none among 



EXGEDI. 277 

them that stirreth himself up to call upon thee, and he that 
departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. They lie in 
wait, they set traps, they cateh men, they are waxen fat, 
they shine, they overpass the deeds of the wicked, they 
judge not the cause of the fatherless ; yet they prosper, and 
the right of the needy do they not judge. Wilt thou not 
visit for these things, Lord ? Shall not thy soul be 
avenged on such a nation as this ? How long wilt thou 
endure ? Behold under the altar the souls of those they 
have slain ! They cry unto thee continually. How long, 
Lord, dost thou not judge and avenge ? Is there any that 
stirreth himself up for justice ? Is there any that regardeth 
our blood ? We are sold for silver : the price of our blood 
is in thy treasury ; the price of our blood is on thine altars ! 
Behold, they build their churches with the price of our hire ! 
Behold, the stone doth cry out of the wall, and the timber 
doth answer it. Because they build their towns with blood, 
and establish their cities by iniquity. They have all gone 
one way. There is none that careth for the spoilings of the 
poor. Art thou a just God ? When wilt thou arise to 
shake terribly the earth, that the desire of all nations may 
come ? Overturn, overturn, and overturn, till lie whose 
right it is shall come ! " 

Such were the words, not uttered continuously, but 
poured forth at intervals, with sobbings, groanings, and 
moanings, from the recesses of that wild fortress. It was 
but a part of that incessant prayer with which oppressed 
humanity has besieged the throne of justice in all ages. 
We who live in ceiled houses would do well to give heed 
to that sound, lest it be to us that inarticulate moaning 
which goes before the earthquake. If we would estimate 
the force of almighty justice, let us ask ourselves what a 
mother might feel for the abuse of her helpless child, and 
multiply that by infinity. 

• But the night wore on, and the stars looked down serene 
and solemn, as if no prayer had gone through the calm, eter- 
nal gloom ; and the morning broke in the east resplendent. 



278 ENGEDI. 

Harry, too, had passed a sleepless night. The death of 
Hark weighed like a mountain upon his heart. He had 
known him for a whole-souled, true-hearted fellow. He had 
been his counsellor and friend for many years, and he had 
died in silent torture for him. How stinging is it at such a 
moment to view the whole respectability of civilized society 
upholding and glorifying the murderer ; calling his sin by 
soft names, and using for his defence every artifice of legal 
injustice ! Some in our own nation have had bitter occasion 
to know this, for we have begun to drink the cup of 
trembling which for so many ages has been drank alone by 
the slave. Let the associates of Brown ask themselves if 
they cannot understand the midnight anguish of Harry ! 

His own impulses would have urged to an immediate 
insurrection, in which he was careless about his own life, 
so the fearful craving of his soul for justice was assuaged. 
To him the morning seemed to break red with the blood of 
his friend. He would have urged to immediate and pre- 
cipitate action. But Dred, true to the enthusiastic impulses 
which guided him, persisted in waiting for that sign from 
heaven which was to indicate when the day of grace was 
closed, and the day of judgment to begin. This expectation 
he founded on his own version of certain passages in the 
prophets, such as these : 

" I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the 
earth beneath ; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke ! The 
sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, 
before that great and notable day of the Lord shall come ! " 

Meanwhile, his associates were to be preparing the minds 
of the people, and he was traversing the swamps in different 
directions, holding nightly meetings, in which he read and 
expounded the prophecies to excited ears. The laborious 
arguments, by which Northern and Southern doctors of 
divinity have deduced from the Old Testament the divine 
institution of slavery, were too subtle and fine-spun to reach 
his ear amid the denunciations of prophecies, all turning on 
the sin of oppression. His instinctive understanding of the 



ENGEDI. 279 

spirit of the Bible justified the sagacity which makes the 
supporter of slavery, to this day, careful not to allow the 
slave the power of judging' it for himself; and we leave it 
to any modern pro-slavery divine whether, in Dred's cir- 
cumstances, his own judgment might not have been the 
same. 

After daylight, Harry saw Dred standing, with a dejected 
countenance, outside of his hut. 

" I have wrestled," he said, "for thee ; but the time is 
not yet ! Let us abide certain days, for the thing is secret 
unto me ; and I cannot do less nor more till the Lord giveth 
commandment. When the Lord delivereth them into our 
hands, one shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thou- 
sand to flight ! " 

" After all," said Harry, " our case is utterly hopeless ! 
A few poor, outcast wretches, without a place to lay our 
heads, and they all revelling in their splendor and their 
power ! Who is there in this great nation that is not 
pledged against us ? Who would not cry Amen, if we 
were dragged out and hung like clogs ? The North is as 
bad as the South ! They kill us, and the North consents 
and justifies ! And all their wealth, power, and religion, 
are used against us. We are the ones that all sides are 
willing to give up. Any party in church or of state will 
throw in our blood and bones as a make-weight, and think 
nothing of it. And, when I see them riding out in their 
splendid equipages, their houses full of everything that is 
elegant, they so cultivated and refined, and our people so 
miserable, poor, and down-trodden, I have n't any faith 
that there is a God ! " 

" Stop ! " said Dred, laying his hand on his arm. " Hear 
what the prophet saith. ' Their land, also, is full of silver 
and gold ; neither is there any end of their treasures. Their 
land, also, is full of horses ; neither is there any end of their 
chariots. Their land also is full of idols. They worship 
the work of their own hands. Enter into the rock, and 
hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory 
II. 24* 



280 ENGEDI. 

of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, 
and the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down, and the 
Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of 
the Lord of Hosts shall be on every one that is proud and 
lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up ; and he shall be 
brought low ! And upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are 
high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and 
upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are 
lifted up, and upon every high tower, and upon every 
fenced wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon 
all pleasant pictures ! And the loftiness of man shall be 
bowed down, the haughtiness of man shall be made low ! 
And they shall go in the holes of the rocks, and in the caves 
of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for his majesty, 
when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth ! ' " 

The tall pines, and whispering oaks, as they stood waving 
in purple freshness at the dawn, seemed like broad-winged 
attesting angels, bearing witness, in their serene and solemn 
majesty, to the sublime words, "Heaven and earth shall 
not pass away till these words have been fulfilled ! " 

After a few moments a troubled expression came over 
the face of Dred. 

"Harry," he said, "verily, he is a God that hideth 
himself! He giveth none account to any of these matters. 
It may be that I shall not lead the tribes over this Jordan ; 
but that I shall lay my bones in the wilderness ! But the 
day shall surely come, and the sign of the Son of Man shall 
appear in the air, and all tribes of the earth shall wail, 
because of him ! Behold, I saw white spirits and black 
spirits, that contended in the air ; and the thunder rolled, 
and the blood flowed, and the voice said, ' Come rough, 
come smooth ! Such is the decree. Ye must surely bear 
it ! ' But, as yet, the prayers of the saints have power ; 
for there be angels, having golden censers, which be the 
prayers of saints. And the Lord, by reason thereof, de- 
layeth. Behold I have borne the burden of the Lord even 
for many years. He hath covered me with a cloud in the 



ENGEDI. 281 

day of his anger, and filled me with his wrath ; and his 
word has been like a consuming fire shut in my bones ! 
He hath held mine eyes waking, and my bones have waxed 
old with my roarings all the day lung ! Then I have said, 
' 0, that thou wouldst hide me in the dust : That thou 
wouldst keep me secret till thy wrath be past !' ' 

At this moment, soaring upward through the blue sky, 
rose the fair form of a wood-pigeon, wheeling and curving 
in the morning sunlight, cutting the ether with airy flight, 
so smooth, even, and clear, as if it had learnt motion from 
the music of angels. 

Dred's eye, faded and haggard with his long night- 
watchings, followed it for a moment with an air of softened 
pleasure, in which was blent somewhat of weariness and 
longing. 

" 0, that I had wings like a dove ! " he said. " Then 
would I flee away and be at rest ! I would hasten from the 
windy storm and tempest ! Lo, then I would wander far 
off, and remain in the wilderness ! ,; 

There was something peculiar in the power and energy 
which this man's nature had of drawing others into the 
tide of its own sympathies, as a strong ship, walking 
through the water, draws all the smaller craft into its 
current. 

Harry, melancholy and disheartened as he was, felt him- 
self borne out with him in that impassioned prayer. 

" I know," said Dred, "that the new heavens and the 
new earth shall come, and the redeemed of the Lord shall 
walk in it. But, as for me, I am a man of unclean lips, and 
the Lord hath laid on me the oppressions of the people ! 
But, though the violent man prevail against me. it shall 
surely come to pass ! " 

Harry turned away, and walked slowly to the other side 
of the clearing, where Old Tiff, with Fanny, Teddy, and 
Lisette, having kindled a fire on the ground, was busy in 
preparing their breakfast. Dred, instead of going into his 
house, disappeared in the thicket. Milly had gone home 



282 ENGEDI. 

with the man who came from Canema. The next day, as 
Harry and Dred made a hunting excursion through the 
swamp, returning home in the edge of the evening, they 
happened to be passing near the scene of lawless violence 
which we have already described. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

THE SLAVE HUNT. 

Tom Gordon, for the next two or three days after his 
injury, was about as comfortable to manage as a wounded 
hyena. He had a thousand varying caprices every hour 
and moment ; and now one and now another prevailed. 
The miserable girls who were held by him as his particular 
attendants were tormented by every species of annoy- 
ance which a restless and passionate man, in his impatience, 
could devise. 

The recent death of Milly's mistress by the cholera had 
reduced her under Tom's authority ; and she was sum- 
moned now from her work every hour to give directions 
and advice, which, the minute they were given, were repu- 
diated with curses. 

" I declare," said Aunt Katy, the housekeeper, "if Alas'r 
Tom is n't 'nough to use a body off o' der feet. It 's jist 
four times I 's got gruel ready for him dis last two hours 
— doing all I could to suit him ; and he swars at it, and 
flings it round real undecent. Why, he 's got fever, and 
does he spect to make things taste good to him, when 
he's got fever! Why, course I can't, and no need of him 
calliug me a devil, and all that ! That ar 's very unnecessary, 
I think. I don't believe in no such ! The Gordons allers 
used to have some sense to 'em, even if they was cross ; but 
he an't got a grain. I should think he was 'sessed wid Old 
Sam, for my part. Bringing 'sgrace on us all, the way he 
cuts up ! We really don' know how to hold up our head, 
none of us. The Gordons have allers been sich a genteel 



284 THE SLAVE HUNT. 

family! Laws, we didn't know what privileges we had 
when we had Miss Nina ! Them new girls, dressed up in all 
their flounces and ferbuloes ! Guess they has to take it ! " 

In time, however, even in spite of his chafing, and fret- 
fulness, and contempt of physicians' prescriptions, Tom 
seemed to recover, by the same kind of fatality which makes 
ill-weeds thrive apace. Meanwhile he employed his leisure 
hours in laying plans of revenge, to be executed as soon 
as he should be able to take to his horse again. Among 
other things, he vowed deep vengeance on Abijah Skinflint, 
who, he said, he knew must have sold the powder and am- 
munition to the negroes in the swamp. This may have 
been true, or may not ; but, in cases of lynch-law, such 
questions are indifferent matter. A man is accused, con- 
demned, and judged, at the will of his more powerful 
neighbor. It was sufficient to Tom that he thought so ; and, 
being sick and cross, thought so just now with more par- 
ticular intensity. 

Jim Stokes, he knew, cherished an animosity of long 
standing towards Abijah, which he could make use of in 
enlisting him in the cause. One of the first uses, there- 
fore, which Tom made of his recovered liberty, after he was 
able to ride out, was to head a raid on Abijah's shop. The 
shop was without ceremony dismantled and plundered ; 
and the mob, having helped themselves to his whiskey, 
nest amused themselves by tarring and feathering him ; 
and, having insulted and abused him to their satisfaction, 
and exacted a promise from him to leave the state within 
three days, they returned home glorious in their own eyes. 
And the next week a brilliant account of the affair appeared 
in the Trumpet of Liberty, headed 

" Summary Justice." 

Nobody pitied Abijah, of course ; and, as he would 
probably have been quite willing to join in the same sort 
of treatment for any one else, we know not that we are 
particularly concerned for his doom. The respectable peo- 



THE SLAVE HUNT. 285 

pie in the neighborhood first remarked that they did n't 
approve of mobs in general, and then dilated, with visible 
satisfaction, on this in particular, after a fashion of that 
stupid class that are called respectable people, generally. 
The foolish mob gloried and exulted, not considering that 
any day the same weapons might be turned against them. 
The mob being now somewhat drilled and animated, Tom 
proposed, while their spirit was up, to get up a hunting 
in the swamp, which should more fully satisfy his own 
private vengeance. There is a sleeping tiger in the human 
breast that delights in violence and blood ; and this tiger 
Tom resolved to unchain. 

The act of outlawry had already publicly set up LTarry 
as a mark for whatever cruelty drunken ingenuity might 
choose to perpetrate. As our readers may have a curiosity 
in this kind of literature, we will indulge them with a copy 
of this : 

" Slate of North Carolina, Chowan County. 

" Whereas, complaint upon oath hath this day been made 
to us, two of the Justices of the Peace for the said county 
and state aforesaid, by Thomas Gordon, that a certain male 
slave belonging to him, named Harry, a carpenter by trade, 
about thirty-five years old, five feet four inches high, or 
thereabouts ; dark complexion, stout built, blue eyes, deep 
sunk in his head, forehead very square, tolerably loud 
voice ; hath absented himself from his master's service, and 
is supposed to be lurking about in the swamp, committing 
acts of felony or other misdeeds. These are, therefore, in 
the name of the state aforesaid, to command said slave 
forthwith to surrender himself, and return home to his said 
master. And we do hereby, by virtue of the act of assem- 
bly, in such case made and provided, intimate and declare 
that, if the said slave Harry doth not surrender himself, 
and return home immediately after the publication of these 
presents, that any person or persons may kill and destroy 
the said slave by such means as he or they may think fit, 
without accusation or impeachment of any crime or offence 



286 THE SLAVE HUNT. 

for so doing, and without incurring any penalty or forfeiture 
thereby. Given under our hands and seal, 

" James T. Muller, ( seal. ) 

" T. BuTTERCOURT."* ( SEAL. ) 

One can scarcely contemplate without pity the condition 
of a population which grows up under the influence of such 
laws and customs as these. That the lowest brutality and 
the most fiendish cruelty should be remorselessly practised 
by those whose ferocity thus receives the sanction of the 
law, cannot be wondered at. Tom Gordon convened at his 
house an assemblage of those whom he used as the tools 
and ministers of his vengeance. Harry had been secretly 
hated by them all in his prosperous days, because, though 
a slave, he was better dressed, better educated, and, on the 
whole, treated with more consideration by the Gordon fam- 
ily and their guests, than they were ; and, at times, he had 
had occasion to rebuke some of them for receiving from the 
slaves goods taken from the plantation. To be sure, while 
he was prosperous they were outwardly subservient to him, 
as the great man of a great family ; but now he was down, 
as the amiable fashion of the world generally is, they re- 
solved to make up for their former subservience by redou- 
bled insolence. 

Jim Stokes, in particular, bore Harry a grudge, for having 
once expressed himself with indignation concerning the 
meanness and brutality of his calling ; and he was there- 
fore the more willing to be made use of on the present occa- 
sion. Accordingly, on the morning we speak of, there was 
gathered before the door of the mansion at Canema a con- 
fused melange of men, of that general style of appearance 
which, in our times, we call "Border Eufifians/ 7 — half drunken, 
profane, obscene as the harpies which descended on the 
feast of iEneas. Tom Gordon had only this advantage among 
them, that superior education and position had given him 

*The original document from which this is taken can be seen in the appen- 
dix. It appeared in the Wilmington Journal, December 18, 1850. 



THE SLAVE HUNT. 287 

the power, when he chose, of assuming* the appearance and 
using 1 the language of a gentleman. But he had enough of 
grossness within, to enable him at will to become as one of 
them. Tom's arm was still worn in a sling, but, as lack 
of energy never was one of his faults, he was about to take 
the saddle with his troop. At present they were drawn up 
before the door, laughing, swearing, and drinking whiskey, 
which flowed in abundance. The dogs — the better-mannered 
brutes of the two, by all odds — were struggling in their 
leashes with impatience and excitement. Tom Gordon 
stood forth on the veranda, after the fashion of great gen- 
erals of old, who harangued their troops on the eve of bat- 
tle. Any one who has read the speeches of the leaders who 
presided over the sacking of Lawrence will get an idea of 
some features in this style of eloquence, which our pen 
cannot represent. 

" Now, boys," said Tom, " you are getting your names 
up. You Ve done some good work already. You 've given 
that old, snivelling priest a taste of true orthodox doctrine, 
that will enlighten him for the future. You 've given that 
long-nosed Skinflint light enough to see the error of his 
ways." 

A general laugh here arose, and voices repeated, 

•' Ah, ah, that we did ! Did n't we, though ? " 

" I reckon you did ! " said Tom Gordon. " I reckon he 
did n't need candles to see his sins by, that night ! 
Did n't we make a candle of his old dog-kennel ? Did n't 
he have light to see his way out of the state by ? and did n't 
we give him a suit to keep him warm on the road ? Ah, 
boys, that was a warm suit — no mistake! It was a suit 
that will stick to him, too ! He won't trade that off for rum, 
in a hurry, I 'm thinking ! Will he, boys ? " 

Bursts of crazy, half-drunken' applause here interrupted 
the orator. 

" Pity we had n't put a match to it ! " shouted one. 

"Ah, well, boys, you did enough for that time! Wait 
till you catch those sneaking varmins in the swamp, you 
it 25 



288 THE SLAVE HUNT. 

shall do what you like with them. Nobody shall hinder 
you, that 's law and order. These foxes have troubled us 
long enough, stealing at our hen-roosts while we were 
asleep. We shall make it hot for them, if we catch them; 
and we are going to catch them. There are no two ways 
about it. This old swamp is like Davy's coon — it's got 
to come down! And it will come down, boys, when it sees 
us coming. No mistake about that ! Now, boys, mind, 
catch him alive, if you can ; but shoot him, if you can't. 
Eemember, I '11 give a hundred and fifty dollars for his 
head ! " 

A loud shout chorused this last announcement, and Tom 
descended in glory to take his place in his saddle. 

Once, we suppose, this history would not have been 
believed, had it been told ; but of late our own sons and 
brothers have been hounded and hunted by just such men, 
with such means. 

The fire which began in the dry tree has spread to the 
green ! 

Long live the great Christianizing Institution III 



CHAPTER XXIX 



ALL OVER. 



Clayton 1 , at the time of the violent assault which we have 
described, received an injury upon the head which rendered 
him insensible. 

When he came to himself, he was conscious at first onty 
of a fanning of summer breezes. He opened his eyes, and 
looked listlessly up into the blue sky, that appeared through 
the thousand leafy hollows of waving boughs. Voices of birds 
warbling and calling, like answering echoes, to each other, 
fell dreamily on his ear. Some gentle hand was placing 
bandages about his head ; and figures of women, he did not 
recognize, moved whisperingly around him, tending and 
watching. 

He dropped asleep again, and thus for many hours lay in 
a kind of heavy trance. 

Harry and Lisette had vacated, for his use, their hut ; but, 
as it was now the splendid weather of October, when earth 
and sky become a temple of beauty and serenity, they 
tended him during the hours of the day in the open air, 
and it would seem as if there were no art jf healing like to 
this. As air and heat and water all have a benevolent tend- 
ency to enter and fill up a vacuum, so we might fancy the 
failing vitality of the human system to receive accessions 
of vigor by being placed in the vicinity of the healthful 
growths of nature. All the trees which John saw around 
the river of life and heaven bore healing leaves ; and there 
may be a sense in which the trees of our world bear leaves 
that are healing both to body and soul. He who hath gone 



290 "ALL OVER." 

out of the city, sick, disgusted, and wearied, and lain him- 
self down in the forest, under the fatherly shadow of an 
oak, may have heard this whispered to him in the leafy rus- 
tlings of a thousand tongues. 

* s|e sjs jK s|« # $ 

" See," said Dred to Harry, as they were watching over 
the yet insensible form of Clayton, " how the word of the 
Lord is fulfilled on this people. He shall deliver them, 
every man, into the hand of his neighbor ; and he that 
departeth from evil maketh himself a prey ! " 

" Yes," said Harry ; " but this is a good man ; he stands 
up for our rights. If he had his way, we should soon have 
justice done us." 

"Yes," said Dred, "but it is even as it was of old; 
' behold I send unto you prophets and wise men, and some 
of them shall ye slay. For this people's heart is waxed 
gross, and their ears have they closed. Therefore, the Lord 
shall bring upon this generation the blood of all the slain, 
from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias, 
the son of Barachias, whom they slew between the temple 
and the altar.' " 

After a day or two spent in a kind of listless dreaming, 
Clayton was so far recovered as to be able to sit up and 
look about him. The serene tranquillity of the lovely Octo 
ber skies seemed to fall like a spell upon his soul. 

Amidst the wild and desolate swamp, here was an island 
of security, where nature took men to her sheltering bosom. 
A thousand birds, speaking with thousand airy voices, were 
calling from breizy tree-tops, and from swinging cradles of 
vine-leaves ; white clouds sailed, in changing and varying 
islands, over the heavy green battlements of the woods. 
The wavering slumberous sound of thousand leaves, through 
which the autumn air walked to and fro, consoled him. 
Life began to look to him like a troubled dream, forever 
past. His own sufferings, the hours of agony and death 
which he had never dared to remember, seemed now to 



"ALL OVER." 291 

wear a new and glorified form. Such is the divine power 
in which God still reveals himself through the lovely and 
incorruptible forms of nature. 

Clayton became interested in Dred, as a psychological 
study. At first he was silent and reserved, but attended 
to the wants of his guest with evident respect and kindness. 
Gradually, however, the love of expression, which lies hid- 
den in almost every soul, began to unfold itself in him, and 
he seemed to find pleasure in a sympathetic listener. His 
wild jargon of hebraistic phrases, names, and allusions, had 
for Clayton, in his enfeebled state, a quaint and poetic in- 
terest. He compared him, in his own mind, to one of those 
old rude Gothic doorways, so frequent in European cathe- 
drals, where scriptural images, carved in rough granite, 
mingle themselves with a thousand wayward, fantastic 
freaks of architecture ; and sometimes he thought, with a 
sigh, how much might have been accomplished by a soul so 
ardent and a frame so energetic, had they been enlightened 
and guided. 

Dred would sometimes come, in the shady part of the 
afternoon, and lie on the grass beside him, and talk for hours 
in a quaint, rambling, dreamy style, through which there 
were occasional flashes of practical ability and shrewdness. 

He had been a great traveller — a traveller through re- 
gions generally held inaccessible to human foot and eye. 
He had explored not only the vast swamp-girdle of the 
Atlantic, but the everglades of Florida, with all their strange 
and tropical luxuriance of growth ; he had wandered along 
the dreary and perilous belt of sand which skirts the 
southern Atlantic shores, full of quicksands and of dangers, 
and there he had mused of the eternal secret of the tides, 
with whose restless, never-ceasing rise and fall the soul 
of man has a mysterious sympathy. Destitute of the light 
of philosophy and science, he had revolved in the twilight of 
his ardent and struggling thoughts the causes of natural 
phenomena, and settled these questions for himself by theo- 
ries of his own. Sometimes his residence for weeks had 
n. 25* 



292 "ALL OVER." 

been a stranded hulk, cast on one of these inhospitable 
shores, where he fasted and prayed, and fancied that 
answering voices came to him in the moaning of the wind 
and the sullen swell of the sea. 

Our readers bohold him now, stretched on the grass be- 
side the hut of Harry and Lisette, in one of his calmest and 
most communicative moods. 

The children, with Lisette and the women, were search- 
ing for grapes in a distant part of the enclosure ; and Harry, 
with the other fugitive man, had gone to bring in certain 
provisions which were to have been deposited for them in a 
distant part of the swamp by some of their confederates on 
one of the plantations. Old Tiff was hoeing potatoes dili- 
gently in a spot not very far distant, and evidently listening 
to the conversation with an ear of shrewd attention. 

" Yes," said Dred, with that misty light in his eye which 
one may often have remarked in the eye of enthusiasts, 
" the glory holds off, but it is coming ! Now is the groan- 
ing time! That was revealed to me when I was down at 
Okerecoke, when I slept three weeks in the hulk of a ship 
out of which all souls had perished." 

"Rather a dismal abode, my friend," said Clayton, by 
way of drawing him on to conversation. 

" The Spirit drove me there," said Dred, "for I had be- 
sought the Lord to show unto me the knowledge of things 
to come ; and the Lord bade me to go from the habitations 
of men, and to seek out the desolate places of the sea, and 
dwell in the wreck of a ship that was forsaken for a sign of 
desolation unto this people. So I went and dwelt there, 
and the Lord called me Amraphal, because hidden things of 
judgment were made known unto me. And the Lord 
showed unto me that even as a ship which is forsaken of 
the waters, wherein all flesh have died, so shall it be with 
the nation of the oppressor." 

" How did the Lord show you this ? " said Clayton, bent 
upon pursuing his inquiry. 

"Mine ear received it in- the night season," said Dred, 



"ALL OYER." 293 

" and I heard how the whole creation groaneth and travail- 
eth, waiting for the adoption ; and because of this he hath 
appointed the tide." 

" I don't see the connection," said Clayton. " Why be- 
cause of this ? " 

"Because," said Dred, "every day is full of labor, but 
the labor goeth back again into the seas. So that travail 
of all generations hath gone back, till the desire of all na- 
tions shall come, and He shall come with burning and with 
judgment, and with great shakings ; but in the end thereof 
shall be peace. Wherefore, it is written that in the new 
heavens and the new earth there shall be no more sea." 

These words were uttered with an air of solemn, assured 
confidence, that impressed Clayton strangely. Something 
in his inner nature seemed to recognize in them a shadow 
of things hoped for. He was in that mood into which the 
mind of him who strives with the evils of this world must 
often fall — a mood of weariness and longing ; and heard 
within him the cry of the human soul, tempest-tossed and 
not comforted, for rest and assurance of the state where 
there shall be no more sea. 

" So, then," he said unto Dred, "so, then, you believe 
that these heavens and earth shall be made new." 

" Assuredly," said Dred. " And the King shall reign in 
righteousness. He shall deliver the needy when he crieth, 
— the poor and him that hath no helper. He shall redeem 
their souls from deceit and violence. He shall sit upon a 
white cloud, and the rainbow shall be round about his head. 
And the elect of the Lord shall be kings and priests on the 
earth." 

"And do you think you shall be one of them ? " said 
Clayton. 

Dred gave a kind of inward groan. 

" Not every one that prophesieth in his name shall be 
found worthy ! " he said. " I have prayed the Lord, but he 
hath not granted me the assurance. I am the rod of his 



294 "all over." 

wrath, to execute vengeance on his enemies. Shall the axe 
magnify itself against him that lifteth it ? " 

The conversation was here interrupted by Harry, who, 
suddenly springing from the tree, came up, in a hurried and 
agitated manner. 

" The devil is broke loose ! " he said. " Tom Gordon is 
out, with his whole crew at his heels, beating the swamp ! 
A more drunken, swearing, ferocious set I never saw ! 
They have got on to the trail of poor Jim, and are tracking 
him without mercy ! " 

A dark light flashed from Dred's eye, as he sprang upon 
his feet. 

" The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness ; yea, the 
wilderness of Kadesh. I will go forth and deliver him ! " 

He seized his rifle and shot-bag, and in a few moments 
was gone. It was Harry's instinct to have followed him ; 
but Lisette threw herself, weeping, on his neck. 

"Don't go — don't! " she said. "What shall we all do 
without you ? Stay with us ! You '11 certainly be killed, 
and you can do no good ! " 

" Consider," said Clayton, "that you have not the famil- 
iarity with these swamps, nor the wonderful physical power 
of this man. It would only be throwing away your life." 

The hours of that day passed gloomily. Sometimes the 
brutal sound of the hunt seemed to sweep near them, — the 
crack of rifles, the baying of dogs, the sound of oaths, — 
and then again all went off into silence, and nothing was 
heard but the innocent patter of leaf upon leaf, and the 
warbling of the birds, singing cheerily, ignorant of the 
abyss of cruelty and crime over which they sang. 

Towards sunset a rustling was heard in the branches of 
the oak, and Bred dropped down into the enclosure, wet, 
and soiled, and wearied. All gathered round him, in a mo- 
ment. 

" Wuere is Jim ? " asked Harry. 

" iain ! " said Dred. "The archers pressed him sore, 
ar he hath fallen in the wilderness 1 " 



"ALL OVER." 295 

There was a general exclamation of horror. Dred made 
a movement to sit down on the earth. He los-t his balance, 
and fell ; and they all saw now, what at first they had not 
noticed, a wound in his breast, from which the blood was 
welling-. His wife fell by his side, with wild moans of sor- 
row. He lifted his hand, and motioned her from him. 

"Peace," he said, "peace! It is enough! Behold, I 
go unto the witnesses who cry day and night ! " 

The circle stood around him in mute horror and surprise. 
Clayton was the first who had presence of mind to kneel 
and stanch the blood. Dred looked at him ; his calm, 
large eyes filled with supernatural light. 

"All over \" he said. 

He put his hand calmly to his side, and felt the gushing 
blood. He took some in his hand and threw it upward, 
crying out, with wild energy, in the words of an ancient 
prophet, 

" 0, earth, earth, earth ! Cover thou not my blood ! " 

Behind the dark barrier of the woods the sun was setting 
gloriously. Piles of loose, floating clouds, which all day 
long had been moving through the sky in white and silvery 
stillness, now one after another took up the rosy flush, and 
became each one a light-bearer, filled with ethereal radiance. 
And the birds sang on as they ever sing, unterrified by the 
great wail of human sorrow. 

It was evident to the little circle that He who is mightier 
than the kings of the earth was there, and that that splen- 
did frame, which had so long rejoiced in the exuberance of 
health and strength, was now to be resolved again into the 
eternal elements. 

"Harry," he said, "lay me beneath the heap of witness. 
Let the God of their fathers judge between us ! " 



CHAPTER XXX. 

THE BUEIAL. 

The death of Dred fell like a night of despair on the hearts 
of the little fugitive circle in the swamps — on the hearts of 
multitudes in the surrounding plantations, who had regarded 
him as a prophet and a deliverer. He in whom they trusted 
was dead ! The splendid, athletic form, so full of wild 
vitality, the powerful arm, the trained and keen-seeing eye, 
all struck down at once ! The grand and solemn voice 
hushed, and all the splendid poetry of olden time, the in- 
spiring symbols and prophetic dreams, which had so wrought 
upon his own soul, and with which he had wrought upon 
the souls of others, seemed to pass away with him, and to 
recede into the distance and become unsubstantial, like the 
remembered sounds of mighty winds, or solemn visions of 
evening clouds, in times long departed. 

On that night, when the woods had ceased to reverberate 
the brutal sounds of baying dogs, and the more brutal pro- 
fanity of drunken men ; when the leaves stood still on the 
trees, and the forest lay piled up in the darkness like black 
clouds, and the morning star was standing like a calm 
angelic presence above them, there might have been heard 
in the little clearing a muffled sound of footsteps, treading 
heavily, and voices of those that wept with a repressed and 
quiet weeping, as they bore the wild chieftain to his grave 
beneath the blasted tree. Of the undaunted circle who had 
met there at the same hour many evenings before, some had 
dared to be present to-night ; for, hearing the report of the 
hunt, they had left their huts on the plantations by stealth, 



THE BURIAL. 297 

when all were asleep, and, eluding the vigilance of the 
patrols, the night watch which commonly guards planta- 
tions, had come to the forest to learn the fate of their 
friends ; and bitter was the dismay and anguish which filled 
their souls when they learned the result. It is melancholy 
to reflect, that among the children of one Father an event 
which excites in one class bitterness and lamentation should 
in another be cause of exultation and triumph. But the 
world has been thousands of years and not yet learned the 
first two words of the Lord's prayer ; and not until all tribes 
and nations have learned these will his kingdom come, and 
his will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. 

Among those who stood around the grave, none seemed 
more bowed down and despairing than one whom we have 
before introduced to the reader, under the name of Hanni- 
bal. He was a tall and splendidly formed negro, whose 
large head, high forehead, and marked features, indicated 
resolution and intellectual ability. He had been all his life 
held as the property of an uneducated man, of very mean 
and parsimonious character, who was singularly divided in 
his treatment of him, by a desire to make the most of his 
energies and capabilities as a slave, and a fear lest they 
should develop so fast as to render him unfit for the condi- 
tion of slavery. 

Hannibal had taught himself to read and write, but the 
secret of the acquisition was guarded in his own bosom, as 
vigilantly as the traveller among thieves would conceal in 
his breast an inestimable diamond ; for he well knew that, 
were these acquisitions discovered, his master's fears would 
be so excited as to lead him to realize at once a present sum 
upon him, by selling him to the more hopeless prison-house 
of the far South, thus separating him from his wife and 
family. 

Hannibal was generally employed as the keeper of a ferry- 
boat by his master, and during the hours when he was 
waiting for passengers found many opportunities for grati- 
fying, in an imperfect manner, his thirst for knowledge. 



298 THE BURIAL. 

Those who have always had books about them more than 
they could or would read know nothing of the passionate 
eagerness with which a repressed and starved intellect 
devours in secret its stolen food. 

In a little chink between the logs of his ferry-house there 
was secreted a Bible, a copy of Robinson Crusoe, and an 
odd number of a Northern newspaper which had been 
dropped from the pocket of a passenger ; and when the door 
was shut and barred at night, and his bit of pine knot 
lighted, he would take these out and read them hour by 
hour. There he yearned after the wild freedom of the deso- 
late island. He placed his wife and children, in imagination, 
in the little barricaded abode of Robinson. He hunted and 
made coats of skin, and gathered strange fruits from trees 
with unknown names, and felt himself a free man. 

Over a soul so strong and so repressed it is not to be 
wondered at that Dred should have acquired a peculiar 
power. The study of the Bible had awakened in his mind 
that vague tumult of aspirations and hopes which it ever 
excites in the human breast ; and he was prompt to believe 
that the Lord who visited Israel in Egypt had listened to 
the sighings of their captivity, and sent a prophet and a 
deliverer to his people. 

Like a torch carried in a stormy night, this hope had 
blazed up within him ; but the cold blast of death had 
whistled by, and it was extinguished forever. 

Among the small band that stood around the dead, on 
the edge of the grave, he stood, looking fixedly on the 
face of the departed. In the quaint aud shaggy mound 
to which Dred had attached that strange, rugged, oriental 
appellation, Jegar Sahachitha, or the "heap of witness," there 
was wildly flaring a huge pine-knot torch, whose light fell 
with a red, distinct glare on the prostrate form that lay 
there like a kingly cedar uprooted, no more to wave its 
branches in air, yet mighty in its fall, with all the shaggy 
majesty of its branches around. Whatever might have been 
the strife and struggle of the soul once imprisoned in that 



THE BUEIAL. 299 

form, there was stamped upon the sombre face an expression 
of majestic and mournful tranquillity, as if that long-suffering 
and gracious God, to whose judgment he had made his last 
appeal, had rendered that judgment in mercy. When the 
statesmen and mighty men of our race die, though they had 
the weaknesses and sins of humanity, they want not orators 
in the church to draw the veil gently, to speak softly of 
their errors and loudly of their good, and to predict for 
them, if not an abundant entrance, yet at least a safe asy- 
lum among the blessed ; and something not to be rebuked 
in our common nature inclines to join in a hopeful amen. 
It is not easy for us to believe that a great and powerful 
soul can be lost to God and itself forever. 

But he who lies here so still and mournfully in this flick- 
ering torch-light had struggling within him the energies 
which make the patriot and the prophet. Crushed beneath 
a mountain of ignorance, they rose blind and distorted ; yet 
had knowledge enlightened and success crowned them, his 
name might have been, with that of Toussaint, celebrated 
in mournful sonnet by the deepest thinking poet of the age. 

" Thou hast left behind 
Powers that will work for thee ; air, earth, and skies ; 
There 's not a breathing of the common wind 
That will forget thee; thou hast great allies; 
Thy friends are exaltations, agonies, 
And love, and man's unconquerable mind." 

The weight of so great an affliction seemed to have re- 
pressed the usual vivacity with which the negro is wont to 
indulge the expression of grief. When the body was laid 
down by the side of the grave, there was for a time a silence 
so deep that the rustling of the leaves, and the wild, doleful 
clamor of the frogs and turtles in the swamps, and the surge 
of the winds in the pine-tree tops, were all that met the ear. 
Even the wife of the dead stood with her shawl wrapped 
tightly about her, rocking to and fro, as if in the extremity 
of grief. 

An old man in the company, who had officiated sometimes 
n. 26 



300 THE BURIAL. 

as preacher among the negroes, began to sing a well-known 
hymn very commonly used at negro funerals, possibly be- 
cause its wild and gloomy imagery has something exciting 
to their quick imaginations. The words rose on the night 
air : 

"Hark, from the tombs a doleful sound, 
My ears attend the cry; 
Ye living men, come view the ground 
Where you must shortly lie." 

During the singing of this verse Hannibal stood silent, 
with his arms gloomily folded, his eyes fixed on the lifeless 
face. Gradually the sentiment seemed to inspire his soul 
with a kind of serene triumph ; he lifted his head, and joined 
his deep bass voice in the singing of the second verse : 

"Princes, this clay must be your bed, 
In spite of all your towers ; 
The tall, the wise, the reverend head, 
Must lie as low as ours." 

" Yes," he said, " brethren, that will be the way of it. 
They triumph and lord it over us now, but their pomp will 
be brought down to the grave, and the noise of their viols. 
The worm shall be spread under them, and the worm shall 
cover them ; and when we come to stand together at the 
judgment seat, our testimony will be took there if it never 
was afore ; and the Lord will judge atween us and our op- 
pressors, — that's one comfort. Now,. brethren, let 's jest 
lay him in the grave, and he that 7 s a better man, or would 
have done better in his place, let him judge him if he 
dares." 

They lifted him up and laid him into the grave ; and in a 
few moments all the mortal signs by which that soul had 
been known on earth had vanished, to appear no more till 
the great day of judgment and decision. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

THE ESCAPE. 

Clayton had not been an unsympathizing or inattentive 
witness of these scenes. 

It is true that he knew not the whole depth of the affair ; 
but Harry's letter and his own observations had led him, 
without explanation, to feel that there was a perilous degree 
of excitement in some of the actors in the scene before him, 
which, unless some escape-valve were opened, might lead 
to most fatal results. 

The day after the funeral, he talked with Harry, wisely 
and kindly, assuming nothing to himself on the ground 
either of birth or position ; showing to him the undesirable- 
ness and hopelessness, under present circumstances, of 
any attempt to right by force the wrongs under which his 
class were suffering, and opening to him and his associates 
a prospect of a safer way by flight to the Free States. 

One can scarcely appreciate the moral resolution and 
force of character which could make a person in Clayton's 
position in society — himself sustaining, in the eye of the 
law, the legal relation of a slaveholder — give advice of 
this kind. No crime is visited with more unsparing rigor 
by the regime of Southern society than the aiding or abet- 
ting the escape of a slave. He who does it is tried as a 
negro-stealer ; and in some states death, in others a long 
and disgraceful imprisonment in the penitentiary, is the 
award. 

For granting the slightest assistance and succor, in cases 



302 THE ESCAPE. 

like these, — for harboring the fugitive for even a night, — 
for giving him the meanest shelter and food, — persons have 
been stripped of their whole property, and turned out desti- 
tute upon the world. Others, for no other crime, have 
languished years in unhealthy dungeons, and coming out at 
last with broken health and wasted energies ; nor has the 
most saintly patience and purity of character in the victim 
been able to lessen or mitigate the penalty. 

It was therefore only by the discerning power of a mind 
sufficiently clear and strong to see its way through the 
mists of educational association, that Clayton could feel 
himself to be doing right in thus violating the laws and 
customs of the social state under which he was born. But, 
in addition to his belief in the inalienable right of every 
man to liberty, he had at this time a firm conviction that 
nothing but the removal of some of these minds from the 
oppressions which were goading them could prevent a 
development of bloody insurrection. 

It is probable that nothing has awakened more bitterly 
the animosity of the slaveholding community than the 
existence in the Northern States of an indefinite yet very 
energetic institution, known as the underground railroad; and 
yet, would they but reflect wisely on the things that belong 
to their peace, they would know that this has removed many 
a danger from their dwellings. One has only to become 
well acquainted with some of those fearless and energetic 
men who have found their way to freedom by its means, to 
feel certain that such minds and hearts would have proved, 
in time, an incendiary magazine under the scorching reign 
of slavery. But, by means of this, men of that class who 
cannot be kept in slavery have found a road to liberty 
which endangered the shedding of no blood but their own ; 
and the record of the strange and perilous means by which 
these escapes have been accomplished sufficiently shows the 
resolute nature of the men by whom they were under- 
taken. 

It was soon agreed that a large party of fugitives should 



THE ESCAPE. 303 

in concert effect their escape. Harry, being so white as 
easily to escape detection out of the immediate vicinity where 
he was known, assumed the task of making - arrangements, 
for which he was amply supplied with money by Clayton. 

It is well known that there are, daring the greater part 
of the year, lumberers engrged in the cutting and making 
of shingles, who have extensive camps in the swamp, and 
live there for months at a time. These camps are made by 
laying foundations of logs on the spongy soil, thus forming 
platforms on which rude cabins are erected. In the same 
manner roads are constructed into distant parts of tho 
swamp, by means of which transportation is carried on. 
There is also a canal cut through the middle of the swamp, 
on which small sailing craft pass backwards and forwards 
with shingles and produce. 

In the employ of these lumberers are multitudes of slaves 
hired from surrounding proprietors. They live here in a 
situation of comparative freedom, being only obliged to 
make a certain number of staves or shingles within a stip- 
ulated time, and being furnished with very comfortable 
provision. Living- thus somewhat in the condition of free- 
men, they are said to be more intelligent, energetic, and 
self-respecting, than the generality of slaves. The camp of 
the fugitives had not been without intercourse with the camp 
of lumberers, some five miles distant. In cases of straits they 
had received secret supplies from them, and one or two of 
the more daring and intelligent of the slave lumberers had 
attended some of Dred's midnight meetings. It was deter- 
mined, therefore, to negotiate with one of the slaves who 
commanded a lighter, or small vessel, in which lumber was 
conveyed to Norfolk, to assist their escape. 

On some consultation, however, it was found that the 
numbers wanting to escape were so large as not to be able, 
without exciting suspicion, to travel together, and it was 
therefore decided to make two detachments. Milly had 
determined to cast in her lot with the fugitives, out of regard 
to her grandchild, poor little Tomtit, whose utter and merry 
n. 26* 



30-1 THE ESCAPE. 

thoughtlessness formed a touching contrast to the gravity 
and earnestness of her affections and desires for him. He 
was to her the only remaining memorial of a large family, 
which had been torn from her by the ordinary reverses and 
chances of slavery ; and she clung to him, therefore, with 
the undivided energy of her grea^. heart. As far as her own 
rights were concerned, she would have made a willing sur- 
render of them, remaining patiently in the condition 
wherein she was called, and bearing injustice and oppression 
as a means of spiritual improvement, and seeking to do 
what good lay in her power. 

Every individual has an undoubted right, if he chooses, 
thus to resign the rights and privileges of his earthly 
birthright ; but the question is a very different one when it 
involves the improvement and the immortal interests of 
those for whom the ties of blood oblige him to have care. 

Milly, who viewed everything with the eye of a Christian, 
was far less impressed by the rigor and severity of Tom 
Gordon's administration than by the dreadful demoralization 
of character which he brought upon the plantation. 

Tomtit being a bright, handsome child, his master had 
taken a particular fancy to him. He would have him 
always about his person, and treated him with the same 
mixture of indulgence and caprice which one would bestow 
upon a spaniel. He took particular pleasure in teaching 
him to drink and to swear, apparently for nothing else than 
the idle amusement it afforded him to witness the exhibition 
of such accomplishments in so young a child. 

In vain Milly, who dared use more freedom with him 
than any other servant, expostulated. He laughed or 
swore at her, according to the state in which he happened 
to be. Milly, therefore, determined at once to join the 
flying party, and take her darling with her. Perhaps she 
would not have been able to accomplish this, had not 
what she considered a rather fortunate reverse, about this 
time, brought Tomtit into disgrace with his master. 
Owing to some piece of careless mischief which he had 



THE ESCAPE. 305 

committed, he had been beaten with a severity as thought- 
less as the indulgence he at other times received, and, while 
bruised and trembling from this infliction, he was fully ready 
to fly anywhere. 

Quite unexpectedly to all parties, it was discovered that 
Tom Gordon's confidential servant and valet, Jim, was one 
of the most forward to escape. This ma 1 ", from that 
peculiar mixture of boldness, adroitness, cunning, and droll- 
ery, which often exists among negroes, had stood for years 
as prime and undisputed favorite with his master ; he had 
never wanted for mone3 r , or for anything that money could 
purchase ; and he had had an almost unreproved liberty of 
saying, in an odd fashion, what he pleased, with the 
licensed audacity of a court buffoon. 

One of the slaves expressed astonishment that he, in 
his favored position, should think of such a thing. Jim 
gave a knowing inclination of his head to one side, and 
said : 

" Fac' is, bredren, dis chile is jest tired of dese yer 
partnership concerns. I and rnas'r, we has all tings in 
common, sure 'nough ; but den I 'd rather have less of 'em, 
and have something dat 's mine; 'sides which, I never 7 s 
going to have a wife till I can get one dat '11 belong to 
myself; dat ar 's a ting I's 'ticular 'bout." 

The conspirators were wont to hold their meetings 
nightly in the woods, near the swamp, for purposes of con 
cert and arrangement. 

Jim had been trusted so much to come and go at his own 
pleasure, that he felt little fear of detection, always having 
some plausible excuse on hand, if inquiries were made. 

It is to be confessed that he had been a very profane and 
irreverent fellow, often attending prayer-meetings, and other 
religious exercises of the negroes, for no other apparent 
purpose than to be able to give burlesque imitations of all 
the proceedings, for the amusement of his master and his 
master's vile associates. Whenever, therefore, he was 



306 THE ESCAPE. 

missed, he would, upon inquiry, assert, with a knowing 
wink, that "he had been out to de prayer-meetin'." 

" Seems to me, Jim," says Tom, one morning, when he felt 
peculiarly ill-natured, " seems to me you are doing nothing 
but go to meeting, lately. I don't like it, and I 'm not going 
to have it. Some deviltry or other you are up to, and I 'm 
going to put a stop to it. Now, mind yourself; don't you 
go any more, or 1 7 11 give you " 

We shall not mention particularly what Tom was in the 
habit of threatening to give. 

Here was a dilemma. One attendance more in the woods 
this very night was necessary, — was, indeed, indispens- 
able. Jim put all his powers of pleasing into requisition. 
Never had he made such desperate efforts to be entertain- 
ing. He sang, he danced, he mimicked sermons, carried on 
mock meetings, and seemed to whip all things sacred and 
profane together, in one great syllabub of uproarious mer- 
riment ; and this to an idle man, with a whole day upon his 
hands, and an urgent necessity for never having time to 
think, was no small affair. 

Tom mentally reflected in the evening, as he lay 
stretched out in the veranda, smoking his cigar, what 
in the world he should do without Jim, to keep him in 
spirits ; and Jim, under cover of the day's glory, had 
ventured to request of his master the liberty of an hour, 
which he employed in going to his tryst in the woods. 
This was a bold step, considering how positively he had 
been forbidden to do it in the morning ; but Jim heartily 
prayed to his own wits, the only god he had been taught to 
worship, to help him out once more. He was returning 
home, hastening, in order to be in season for his master's 
bed-time, hoping to escape unquestioned as to where he 
had been. 

The appointments had all been made, and, between two 
and three o'clock that night, the whole party were to 
strike out upon their course, and ere morning to have 
travelled the first stage of their pilgrimage towards freedom. 



THE ESCAPE. 307 

Already the sense of a new nature was beginning to 
dawn on Jim's mind — -a sense of something 1 graver, 
steadier, and more manly, than the wild, frolicksome life he 
had been leading ; and his bosom throbbed with a strange, 
new, unknown hope. 

Suddenly, on the very boundary of- the spot where the 
Avood joins the plantation, who should he meet but Tom 
Gordon, sent there as if he had been warned by his evil 
stars. 

" Now, Lord help me ! if dere is any Lord," said Jim. 
" Well, I 's got to blaze it out now de best way I ken." 

He walked directly up to his master, with his usual air 
of saucy assurance. 

"Why, Jim," said Tom, "where have you been ? I ; ve 
been looking for you." 

" Why, bless you, mas'r, honey, I 's been out to de 
meetin'." 

"Didn't I tell you, you dog," said Tom, with an oath, 
" that you were not to go to any more of those meetings ? " 

"Why, laws, mas'r, honey, chile, 'fore my heavenly 
mas'r, I done forgot every word you said!" said Jim. 
" I 's so kind o' tumbled up and down this day, and things 
has been so cur 'us ! " 

The ludicrous grimace and tone, and attitude of affected 
contrition, with which all this was said, rather amused Tom ; 
and, though he still maintained an air of sternness, the subtle 
negro saw at once his advantage, and added, " 'Clare if I 
isn't most dead! Ole Pomp, he preached, and he gets me 
so full o' grace I 's fit to bust. Has to do something 
wicked, else I '11 get translated one dese yer clays, like 
'Lijah, and den who 'd mas'r have fur to wait on him ? " 

" I don't oelieve you 've been to meeting," said Tom, 
eying him with affected suspicion. " You 've been out on 
some spree." 

" Why, laws, mas'r, honey, you hurts my feelings ! 
Why, now, I 's in hopes you 'd say you see de grace 
a shining out all over me. Why, I 's been in a clar state 



308 THE ESCAPE. 

of glorrufication all dis evening. Dat ar old Pomp, dar 's 
no mistake, he does lift a body up powerful 1 " 

"You don't remember a word he said, now, I'll bet," 
said Tom. " Where was the text-? " 

" Text ! " said Jim, with assurance ; " 't was in the twenty- 
fourth chapter of Jerusalem, sixteenth verse." 

"Well," said Tom, "what was it? I should like to 
know." 

" Laws, mas'r, I b'lieve I can 'peat it," said Jim, with an 
indescribable air of waggish satisfaction. " 'T was dis yer : 
' Ye shall sarch fur me in de mornin' and ye won't find me.' 
Dat ar 's a mighty solemn text, mas'r, and ye ought to be 
'fleeting on't." 

And Tom had occasion to reflect upon it, the next morn- 
ing, when, having stormed, and swore, and pulled until he 
broke the bell-wire, no Jim appeared. It was some time 
before he could actually realize or believe he was gone. 

"The ungrateful dog! The impudent puppy, who had 
had all his life everything he wanted, to run away from 
him ! " 

Tom aroused the whole country in pursuit ; and, as ser- 
vants were found missing in many other plantations, there 
was a general excitement through the community. The 
Trumpet of Liberty began to blow dolorous notes, and 
articles headed, " The results of Abolitionist teaching, and 
covert incendiarism," began to appear. It was recom- 
mended that a general search should be made through the 
country for all persons tinctured with abolitionist senti- 
ments, and immediate measures pursued to oblige them to 
leave the state forthwith. 

One or two respectable gentlemen, who were in the habit 
of taking the National Era, were visited by members of a 
vigilance committee, and informed that they must immedi- 
ately drop the paper or leave the state ; and when one of 
them talked of his rights as a free citizen, and inquired 
how they would enforce their requisitions, supposing he 
determined to stand for his liberty, the party informed 



THE ESCAPE. 309 

him succinctly to the following' purport: "If you do not 
comply, your corn, grain, and fodder, will be burned ; your 
cattle driven off; and, if you still persist, your house will 
be set on fire and consumed, and you will never know who 
does it." * 

When the good gentleman inquired if this was freedom, 
his instructors informed him that freedom consisted in their . 
right and power to make their neighbors submit to their 
own will and dictation ; and he would find himself in a free 
country so far as this, that every one would feel at liberty 
to annoy and maltreat him so long as he opposed the popu- 
lar will. 

This modern doctrine of liberty has of late been strikingly 
and edhyingly enforced on the minds of some of our breth- 
ren and sisters in the new states, to whom the offer of relin- 
quishing their principles or their property and lives has 
been tendered with the same admirable explicitness. 

It is scarcely necessary to remark that both these worthy 
gentlemen, to use the language of their conquerors, " caved 
in," and thus escaped with no other disadvantage than a 
general plundering of their smoke-houses, the hams in which 
were thought a desirable addition to a triumphal entertain- 
ment proposed to be given in honor of law and order by 
The Associate Bands of the Glorious Immortal Coons, the 
body-guard which was Tom Gordon's instrument in all these 
exploits. 

In fact, this association, although wanting the advantage 
of an ordaining prayer and a distribution of Bibles, as has 
been the case with some more recently sent from Southern 
states, to beat the missionary drum of state rights and the 
principles of law and order on our frontiers, yet conducted 
themselves in a manner which might have won them appro- 
bation even in Col. Buford's regiment, giving such exhibi- 
tions of liberty as were sufficient to justify all despots for 
putting it down by force for centuries to come. 

Tom Gordon was the great organizer and leader of all 
these operations ; his suspicions had connected Clayton 



310 THE ESCAPE. 

with the disappearance of his slaves, and he followed upon 
his track with the sagacity of a bloodhound. 

The outrage which he had perpetrated upon him in the 
forest, so far from being a matter of sham or concealment, 
was paraded as a cause for open boaift and triumph. Tom 
rode about with his arm in a sling as a wounded hero, and 
received touching testimonials and demonstrations from 
sundry ladies of his acquaintance for his gallantry and 
spirit. When on the present occasion he found the pursuit 
of his slaves hopeless, his wrath and malice knew no 
bounds, and he determined to stir up and enkindle against 
Clayton to the utmost degree the animosities of the plant- 
ers around his estate of Magnolia Grove. 

This it was not difficult to do. We have already shown 
how much latent discontent and heart-burning had been 
excited by the course which Clayton and his sister had 
pursued on their estate. 

Tom Gordon had a college acquaintance with the eldest 
son of one of the neighboring families, a young man of as 
reckless and dissipated habits as his own. 

Hearing, therefore, that Clayton had retired to Magnolia 
Grove, he accepted an invitation of this young man to make 
him a visit, principally, as it would appear, for the purpose 
of instigating some mischief. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 

The reader next beholds Clayton at Magnolia Grove, 
whither he had fled to recruit his exhausted health and 
spirits. He had been accompanied there by Frank Russel. 

Our readers may often have observed how long habits of 
intimacy may survive between two persons who have em- 
barked in moral courses, which, if pursued, must eventually 
separate them forever. 

For such is the force of moral elements, that the ambi- 
tious and self-seeking cannot always walk with those who 
love good for its own sake. In this world, however, where 
all these things are imperfectly developed, habits of inti- 
macy often subsist a long time between the most opposing 
affinities. 

The fact was that Russel would not give up the society 
of Clayton. He admired the very thing in him which he 
watited himself; and he comforted himself for not listening 1 
to his admonitions by the tolerance and good-nature with 
which he had always heard them. When he heard that he 
was ill, he came to him and insisted upon travelling with 
him, attending him with the utmost fidelity and kindness. 

Clayton had not seen Anne before since his affliction — 
both because his time had been very much engaged, and 
because they who cannot speak of their sorrows often shrink 
from the society of those whose habits of intimacy and affec- 
tion might lead them to desire such confidence. But he 
was not destined in his new retreat to find the peace he 
desired. Our readers may remember that there were intima- 
ft. 27 



312 LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 

tions conveyed through his sister some time since of discon- 
tent arising in the neighborhood. 

The presence of Tom Gordon soon began to make itself 
felt. As a conductor introduced into an electric atmosphere 
will draw to itself the fluid, so he became an organizing 
point for the prevailing dissatisfaction. 

He went to dinner-parties and talked ; he wrote in the 
nearest paper; he excited the inflammable and inconsid- 
erate ; and, before he had been there many weeks, a vigilance 
association was formed among the younger and more hot- 
headed of his associates, to search out and extirpate covert 
abolitionism. Anne and her brother first became sensible of 
an entire cessation of all those neighborly acts of kindness 
and hospitality, in which Southern people, when in a good 
humor, are so abundant. 

At last, one day Clayton was informed that three or four 
gentlemen of his acquaintance were wishing to see him in 
the parlor below. 

On descending, he was received first by his nearest neigh- 
bor, Judge Oliver, a fine-looking elderly gentleman, of influ- 
ential family connection. 

He was attended by Mr. Bradshaw, whom we have 
already introduced to our readers, and by a Mr. Knapp, 
who was a very wealthy planter, a man of great energy and 
ability, who had for some years figured as the representa- 
tive of his native state in Congress. 

It was evident, by the embarrassed air of the party, that 
they had come on business of no pleasing character. 

It is not easy for persons, however much excited they 
may be, to enter at once upon offensive communications to 
persons who receive them with calm and gentlemanly civil- 
ity ; therefore, after being seated, and having discussed the 
ordinary topics of the weather and the crops, the party 
looked one upon another, in a little uncertainty which should 
begin the real business of the interview. 

"Mr. Clayton," at length said Judge Oliver, "we are 
really sorry to be obliged to make disagreeable communica- 



LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 313 

tions to you. We have all of us had the sincerest respect 
for your family, and for yourself. I have known and hon- 
ored your father many years, Mr. Clayton ; and, for my own 
part, I must say I anticipated much pleasure from your resi- 
dence in our neighborhood. I am really concerned to be 
obliged to say anything unpleasant ; but I am under the 
necessity of telling you that the course you have been pur- 
suing with regard to your servants, being contrary to the 
laws and usages of our social institutions, can no longer be 
permitted among us. You are aware that the teaching of 
slaves to read and write is forbidden by the law, under 
severe penalties. We have always been liberal in the inter- 
pretation of this law. Exceptional violations, conducted 
with privacy and discretion, in the case of favored servants, 
whose general good conduct seems to merit such confidence, 
have from time to time existed, and passed among us with- 
out notice or opposition ; but the instituting of a regular 
system of instruction, to the extent and degree which exists 
upon your plantation, is a thing so directly in the face of 
the law, that we can no longer tolerate it ; and we have 
determined, unless this course is dropped, to take measures 
to put the law into execution/' 

" I had paid my adopted state the compliment," said 
Clayton, " to suppose such laws to be a mere relic of bar- 
barous ages, which the practical Christianity of our times 
would treat as a dead letter. I began my arrangements in 
all good faith, not dreaming that there could be found those 
who would oppose a course so evidently called for by the 
spirit of the Gospel, and the spirit of the age." 

"You are entirely mistaken, sir," said Mr. Knapp, in a 
tone of great decision, " if you suppose these laws are, or 
can ever be, a matter of indifference to us, or can be suf- 
fered to become a dead letter. Sir, they are founded in the 
very nature of our institutions. They are indispensable to 
the preservation of our property, and the safety of our fami- 
lies. Once educate the negro population, and the whole 
system of our domestic institutions is at an end. Our 



314 LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 

negroes have acquired already, by living 1 among us, a 
degree of sagacity and intelligence which makes it difficult 
to hold an even rein over them ; and, once open the flood- 
gates of education, and there is no saying where they and 
we might bo carried. I, for my part, do not approve of 
these exceptional instances Judge Oliver mentioned. Gen- 
erally speaking, those negroes whose intelligence and good 
conduct would make them the natural recipients of such 
favors are precisely the ones who ought not to be trusted 
with them. It ruins them. Why, just look at the history 
of the insurrection that very nearly cut off the whole city 
of Charleston : what sort of men were those who got it 
up ? They were just your steady, thoughtful, well-con- 
ducted men, — just the kind of men that people are teach- 
ing to read, because they think they are so good it can do 
no harm. Sir, my father was one of the magistrates on the 
trial of those men, and I have heard him say often there 
was not one man of bad character among them. They had 
all been remarkable for their good character. Why, there 
was that Denmark Vesey, who was the head of it : for 
twenty years he served his master, and was the most faith- 
ful creature that ever breathed; and after he got his liberty, 
everybody respected him, and liked him. Why, at first, my 
father said the magistrates could not be brought to arrest 
him, they were so sure that he could not have been engaged 
in such an affair. Now, all the leaders in that affair could 
read and write. They kept their lists of names ; and 
nobody knows, or ever will know, how many were down 
on them, for those fellows were deep as the grave, and you 
could not get a word out of them. Sir, they died and 
made no sign ; but all this is a warning to us." 

" And do you think," said Clayton, " that if men of that 
degree of energy and intelligence are refused instruction, 
they will not find means to get knowledge for themselves ? 
And if they do get it themselves, in spite of your precau- 
tions, they will assuredly use it against you. 

"The fact is, gentlemen, it is inevitable that a certain 



LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 315 

degree of culture must come from* their iutercourse with 
us, and minds of a certain class will be stimulated to desire 
more ; and all the barriers we put up will only serve to 
inflame curiosity, and will make them feel a perfect liberty 
to use the knowledge they conquer from us against us. In 
my opinion, the only sure defence against insurrection is 
systematic education, by which we shall acquire that influ- 
ence over their minds which our superior cultivation will 
enable us to hold. Then, as fast as they become fitted to 
enjoy rights, we must grant them." 

"Not we, indeed!" said Mr. Knapp, striking his cane 
upon the floor. " We are not going to lay down our power 
in that way. "We will not allow any such beginning-. We 
must hold them down firmly and consistently, r'or my 
part, I dislike even the system of oral religious instruction. 
It starts their minds, and leads them to want something 
more. It 's indiscreet, and I always said so. As for teach- 
ing them out of the Bible, — why, the Bible is the most 
exciting book that ever was put together ! It always starts 
up the mind, and it 's unsafe." 

"Don't you see," said Clayton, "what an admission you 
are making ? What sort of a system must this be, that 
requires such a course to sustain it ? " 

"I can't help that," said Mr. Knapp. "There's mil- 
lions and millions invested in it, and we can't. afford to risk 
such an amount of property for mere abstract speculation. 
The system is as good as forty other systems that have pre- 
vailed, and will prevail. We can't take the frame-work of 
suciety to pieces. We must proceed with things as they 
are. And now, Mr. Clayton, another thing I have to say to 
you," said he, looking excited, and getting up and walking 
the floor. " It has been discovered that you receive incen- 
diary documents through the post-office ; and this cannot 
be permitted, sir." 

The color flushed into Clayton's face, and his eye kindled 
as he braced himself in his chair. " By what right," he 
n. 21* 



316 LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 

said, " does any one pry into what I receive through the 
post-office ? Am I not a free man ? " 

• " No, sir, you are not," said Mr. Knapp, — " not free to 
receive that which may imperil a whole neighborhood. You 
are not free to store barrels of gunpowder on your premises, 
when they may blow up ours. Sir, we are obliged to hold 
the mail under supervision in this state ; and suspected per- 
sons will not be allowed to receive communications without 
oversight. Don't you remember that the general post- 
office was broken open in Charleston, and all the abolition 
documents taken out of the mail-bags and consumed, and a 
general meeting of all the most respectable citizens, headed 
by the clergy in their robes of office, solemnly confirmed the 
deed ? ' 

"I think, Mr. Knapp," said Judge Oliver, interposing in 
a milder tone, " that your excitement is carrying you 
farther than you are aware. I should rather hope that Mr. 
Clayton would perceive the reasonableness of our demand, 
and of himself forego the taking of these incendiary docu- 
ments." 

" I take no incendiary documents," said Clayton, warmly. 
"It is true I take an anti-slavery paper, edited at Wash- 
ington, in which the subject is fairly and coolly discussed. 
I hold it no more than every man's duty to see both sides 
of a question." 

"Well, there, now," said Mr. Knapp, "you see the 
disadvantage of having your slaves taught to read. If 
they could not read your papers, it would be no matter 
what you took ; but to have them get to reasoning on these 
subjects, and spread their reasonings through our planta- 
tions, — why, there '11 be the devil to pay, at once." 

" You must be sensible," said Judge Oliver, "that there 
must be some individual rights which we resign for the 
public good. I have looked over the paper you speak of, 
and I acknowledge it seems to me very fair ; but, then, in 
our peculiar and critical position, it might prove dangerous 
to have such reading about my house, and I never have it." 



LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 317 

" In that case," said Clayton, " I wonder you don't sup- 
press your own newspapers ; for as long as there is a con- 
gressional discussion, or a Fourth of July oration or sena- 
torial speech in them, so long they are full of incendiary 
excitement. Our history is full of it, our state bills of rights 
are full of it, the lives of our fathers are full of it ; we must 
suppress our whole literature, if we would avoid it." 

"Now, don't you see," said Mr. Knapp, "you have 
stated just so many reasons why slaves must not learn to 
read?" 

" To be sure I do," said Clayton, " if they are always to 
remain slaves, if we are never to have any views of eman- 
cipation for them." 

" Well, they are to remain slaves," said Mr. Knapp, 
speaking with excitement. " Their condition is a finality; 
we will not allow the subject of emancipation to be discussed, 
even." 

" Then, God have mercy on you ! " said Clayton, solemnly ; 
" for it is my firm belief that, in resisting the progress of 
human freedom, you will be found fighting against God." 

" It is n't the cause of human freedom," said Mr. Knapp, 
hastily. " They are not human ; they are an inferior race, 
made expressly for subjection and servitude. The Bible 
teaches this plainly." 

" Why don't you teach them to read it, then ? " said Clay- 
ton, coolly. 

" The long and the short of the matter is, Mr. Clayton," 
said Mr. Knapp, walking nervously up and down the room, 
" you '11 find this is not a matter to be trifled with. We 
come, as your friends, to warn you ; and, if you don't listen 
to our warnings, we shall not hold ourselves responsible for 
what may follow. You ought to have some consideration 
for your sister, if not for yourself." 

" I confess," said Clayton, " I had done the chivalry of 
South Carolina the honor to think that a lady could have 
nothing to fear." 

" It is so generally," said Judge Oliver, " but on this sub- 



318 LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 

ject there is suoh a dreadful excitability in the public mind, 
that we cannot control it. You remember, when the com- 
missioner was sent by the Legislature of Massachusetts 
to Charleston, he came with his daughter, a very cultivated 
and elegant young lady ; but the mob was rising, and we 
could not control it, and we had to go and beg them to 
leave the city. I, for one, would n't have been at all answer- 
able for the consequences, if they had remained." 

"I must confess, Judge Oliver/' said Clayton, '" that I 
have been surprised, this morning, to hear Sputh Carolinians 
palliating two such events in your history, Resulting from 
mob violence, as the breaking open of the ^post-office, and 
the insult to the representative of a sister state, who came in 
the most peaceable and friendly spirit, and to womanhood in 
the person of an accomplished lady. Is this hydra-headed 
monster, the mob, to be our governor?" 

-" 0, it is only upon this subject," said all three of the 
gentlemen, at once ; " this subject is exceptional." 

" And do you think," said Clayton, " that 



-you can set the land on fire, 



To burn just so high, and no higher ' ? 

You may depend upon it you will find that you cannot. The 
mob that you smile on and encourage when it does work 
that suits you, will one day prove itself your master in a 
manner that you will not like." 

" Well, now, Mr. Clayton," said Mr. Bradshaw, who had 
not hitherto spoken, "you see this is a very disagreeable 
subject ; but the fact is, we came in a friendly way to you. 
We all appreciate, personally, the merits of your character, 
and the excellence of your motives ; but, really sir, there is 
an excitement rising, there is a state of the public mind 
which is getting every day more and more inflammable. I 
talked with Miss Anne on this subject, some months ago, 
and expressed my feelings very fully ; and now, if you will 
only give us a pledge that you will pursue a different 
course, we shall have something to take hold of to quiet the 



LYNCH LAW AGAIX. 319 

popular mind. If you will just write and stop your paper for 
the present, and let it be understood that your plantation 
system is to be stopped, the thing will gradually cool itself 
off." 

" Gentlemen," said Clayton, " you are asking a very 
serious thing from me, and one which requires reflection. 
If I am violating the direct laws of the state, and these laws 
are to be considered as still iu vital force, there is certainly 
some question with regard to my course ; but still I have 
responsibilities for the moral and religious improvement of 
those under my care, which are equally binding. I see no 
course but removal from the state." 

" Of course, we should be sorry," said Judge Oliver, 
" you should be obliged to do that ; still we trust you will 
see the necessity, and our motives." 

" Necessity is the tyrant's plea, I believe," said Clayton, 
smiling. 

" At all events, it is a strong one," replied Judge Oliver, 
smiling also. " But I am glad we have had this conversa- 
tion ; I think it will enable me to pacify the minds of some 
of our hot-headed young neighbors, and prevent threatened 
mischief." 

' After a little general conversation, the party separated on 
apparently friendly terms, and Clayton went to seek counsel 
with his sister and Frank Russel. 

Anne was indignant, with that straight-out and generous 
indignation which belongs to women, who, generally speak- 
ing, are ready to follow their principles to any result with 
more inconsiderate fearlessness than men. She had none 
of the anxieties for herself which Clayton had for her. 
Having once been witness of the brutalities of a slave-mob, 
Clayton could not, without a shudder, connect any such 
possibilities with his sister. 

" I think," said Anne, " we had better give up this mis- 
erable sham of a free government, of freedom of speech, 
freedom of conscience, and all that, if things must go on 
in this way." 



320 LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 

" 0," said Frank Russel, " the fact is that our republic, 
in these states, is like that of Venice ; it 's not a democracy, 
but an oligarchy, and the mob is its standing 1 army. We 
are, all of us, under the ' Council of Ten, 7 which has its eyes 
everywhere. We are free enough as long as our actions 
please them ; when they don't, we shall find their noose 
around our necks. It 's very edifying, certainly, to have 
these gentlemen call on you to tell you that they will not be 
answerable for consequences of excitement which they are 
all the time stirring up ; for, after all, who cares what you 
do, if they don't ? The large proprietors are the ones inter- 
ested. The rabble are their hands, and this warning about 
popular excitement just means, ' Sir, if you don't take care, 
I shall let out my dogs, and then I won't be answerable for 
consequences.' " 

" And you call this liberty ! " said Anne, indignantly. 

" 0, well," said Russel, " this is a world of humbugs. 
We call it liberty because it 's an agreeable name. After 
all, what is liberty, that people make such a breeze about ? 
We are all slaves to one thing or another. Nobody is abso- 
lutely free, except Robinson Crusoe, in the desolate island ; 
and he tears all his shirts to pieces and hangs them up 
as signals of distress, that he may get back into slavery 
again." 

" For all that," said Anne, warming, " I know there is 
such a thing as liberty. All that nobleness and enthusiasm 
which has animated people in all ages for liberty cannot be 
in vain. Who does not thrill at those words of the Mar- 
sellaise : 

' 0, Liberty, can men resign thee, 

Once having felt thy generous flame ? 
Can dungeons, bolts, or bars, confine thee, 
Or whips thy noble spirit tame ? ' " 

"These are certainly agreeable myths," said Russel, 
" but these things will not bear any close looking into. 
Liberty has generally meant the liberty of me and my na- 



LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 321 

tion and my class to do what we please ; which is a very 
pleasant thing, certainly, to those who are on the upper side 
of the wheel, and probably involving' much that 's disagree- 
able to those who are under." 

" That is a heartless, unbelieving way of talking," said 
Anne, with tears in her eyes. "I know there have been 
some right true, noble souls, in whom the love of liberty 
has meant the love of right, and the desire that every hu- 
man brother should have what rightly belongs to him. It 
is not my liberty, nor our liberty, but the principle of liber- 
ty itself, that they strove for." 

" Such a principle, carried out logically, would make 
smashing work in this world," said Russel. " In this sense, 
where is there a free government on earth ? What nation 
ever does or ever did respect the right of the weaker, or 
ever will, till the millennium comes ? — and that 's too far off 
to be of much use in practical calculations ; so don't let 's 
break our hearts about a name. For my part, I am more 
concerned about these implied threats. As I said before, 
'the hand of Joab is in this thing.' Tom Gordon is visit- 
ing in this neighborhood, and you may depend upon it that 
this, in some way, comes from him. He is a perfectly reck- 
less fellow, and I am afraid of some act of violence. If he 
should bring up a mob, whatever they do, there will be no 
redress for you. These respectable gentlemen, your best 
friends, will fold their hands, and say, ' Ah, poor fellow ! we 
told him so ! ' while others will put their hands compla- 
cently in their pockets, and say, ' Served him right ! ' 

"I think," said Clayton, "there will be no immediate 
violence. I understood that they pledged as much when 
they departed." 

" If Tom Gordon is in the camp," said Russel, "they may 
find that they have reckoned without their host in promising 
that. There are two or three young fellows in this vicinity 
who, with his energy to direct them, are reckless enough 
for anything ; and there is always an abundance of excitable 
rabble to be got for a drink of whiskey." 



322 LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 

The event proved that Russel was right. Anne's bed- 
room was in the back part of the cottage, opposite the little 
grove where stood her school-room. 

She was awakened, about one o'clock, that night, by a 
broad, ruddy glare of light, which caused her at first to 
start from her bed, with the impression that the house was 
on fire. 

At the same instant she perceived that the air was full of 
barbarous and dissonant sounds, such as the beating of tin 
pans, the braying of horns, and shouts of savage merriment, 
intermingled with slang oaths and curses. 

In a moment, recovering herself, she perceived that it was 
her school-house which was in a blaze, crisping and shriv- 
elling the foliage of the beautiful trees by which it was sur- 
rounded, and filling the air with a lurid light. 

She hastily dressed, and in a few moments Clayton and 
Russel knocked at her door. Both were looking very pale. 

" Don't be alarmed," said Clayton, putting his arm around 
her with that manner which shows that there is everything 
to fear ; " I am going out to speak to them." 

" Indeed, you are going to do no such thing," said Frank 
Russel, decidedly. "This is no time for any extra displays 
of heroism. These men are insane with whiskey and excite- 
ment. They have probably been especially inflamed against 
you, and your presence would irritate them still more. Let 
me go out: I understand the ignobile vulgus better than you 
do; besides which, providentially, I haven't any conscience 
to prevent my saying and doing what is necessary for an 
emergency. You shall see me lead off this whole yelling 
pack at my heels in triumph. And now, Clayton, you take 
care of Anne, like a good fellow, till I come back, which 
may be about four or five o'clock to-morrow morning. I 
shall toll all these fellows down to Muggins', and leave them 
so drunk they cannot stand for one three hours." 

So saying, -Frank proceeded hastily to disguise himself in 
a shaggy old great coat, and to tie around his throat a red 
bandanna silk handkerchief, with a very fiery and dashing 



LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 323 

tie, and surmounting these equipments by an old hat which 
had belonged to one of the servants, he stole out of the 
front door, and, passing around through the shrubbery, was 
very soon lost in the throng who surrounded the burning 
building. He soon satisfied himself that Tom Gordon was 
not personally among them, — that they consisted entirely 
of the lower class of whites. 

" So far, so good," he said to himself, and, spi'inging on to 
the stump of a tree, he commenced a speech in that peculiar 
slang dialect which was vernacular with them, and of which 
he perfectly well understood the use. 

With his quick and ready talent for drollery, he soon had 
them around him in paroxysms of laughter : and, compliment- 
ing their bravery, flattering and cajoling their vanity, he 
soon got them completely in his power, and they assented, 
with a triumphant shout, to the proposition that they should 
go down and celebrate their victory at Muggins' grocery, a 
low haunt about a mile distant, whither, as he predicted, 
they all followed him. And he was as good as his word in 
not leaving them till all were so completely under the 
power of liquor as to be incapable of mischief for the time 
being. 

About nine o'clock the next day he returned, finding 
Clayton and Anne seated together at breakfast. 

" Now, Clayton," he said, seating himself, "I am going 
to talk to you in good, solemn earnest, for once. The fact 
is, you are checkmated. Your plans for gradual emanci- 
pation, or reform, or anything tending in that direction, are 
utterly hopeless : and, if you want to pursue them with 
your own people, you must either send them to Liberia, or 
to the Northern States. There was a time, fifty years ago, 
when such things were contemplated with some degree of 
sincerity by all the leading minds at the South. That time 
is over. From the very day that they began to open new 
territories to slavery, the value of this kind of property 
mounted up, so as to make emancipation a moral impossibil- 
ity. It is, as they told you, a finality ; and don't you see 
n. 28 



324 LYNCH LAW AGAIN. 

how they make everything in the Union bend to it ? Why, 
these men are only about three tenths of the population of 
our Southern States, and yet the other seven tenths vir- 
tually have no existence. All they do is to vote as they 
are told — as they know they must, being too ignorant to 
know any better. 

" The mouth of the North is stuffed with cotton, and will 
be kept full as long as it suits us. Good, easy gentlemen, 
they are so satisfied with their pillows, and other accommo- 
dations inside of the car, that they don't trouble themselves 
to reflect that we are the engineers, nor to ask where we 
are going. And, when any one does wake up and pipe out 
in melancholy inquiry, we slam the door in his face, and 
tell him ' Mind your own business, sir/ and he leans back 
on his cotton pillow, and goes to sleep again, only whimper- 
ing a little, that ' we might be more polite.' 

" They have their fanatics up there. We don't trouble our- 
selves to put them down ; we make them do it. They get 
up mobs on our account, to hoot troublesome ministers and 
editors out of their cities ; and their men that they send to 
Congress invariably do all our dirty work. There 's now 
and then an exception, it is true ; but they only prove the 
rule. 

" If there was any public sentiment at the North for you 
reformers to fall back upon, you might, in spite of your 
difficulties, do something; but there is not. They are all 
implicated with us, except the class of born fanatics, like 
you, who are walking in that very unfashionable harrow 
way we 've heard of." 

" Well," said Anne, "let us go out of the state, then. 
I will go anywhere ; but I will not stop the work that I 
have begun." 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

FLIGHT. 

The party of fugitives, which started for the North, was 
divided into two bands. Harry, Lisette, Tiff, and his two 
children, assumed the character of a family, of whom Harry 
took the part of father, Lisette the nurse, and Tiff the man- 
servant. 

The money which Clayton had given them enabling them 
to furnish a respectable outfit, they found no difficulty in 
taking passage under this character, at Norfolk, on board a 
small coasting-vessel bound to New York. 

Never had Harry known a moment so full of joyous se- 
curity as that which found him out at sea in a white-winged 
vessel, flying with all speed toward the distant port of 
safety. 

Before they neared the coast of New York, however, 
there was a change in their prospects. The blue sky 
became darkened, and the sea, before so treacherously 
smooth, began to rise in furious waves. The little ves- 
sel was tossed baffling about by contrary and tumultuous 
winds. 

When she began to pitch and roll, in all the violence of a 
decided storm, Lisette and the children cried for fear. Old 
Tiff exerted himself for their comfort to the best of his 
ability. Seated on the cabin-floor, with his feet firmly 
braced, he would hold the children in his arms, and remind 
them of what Miss Nina had read to them of the storm 
that came down on the Lake of Gennesareth, and how 



326 FLIGHT. 

Jesus was in the hinder part of the boat, asleep on a pillow. 
"And he 's dar yet," Tiff would say. 

" I wish they 'd wake him up, then," said Teddy, discon- 
solately ; " I don't like this dreadful noise ! What does he 
let it be so for ? " 

Before the close of that day the fury of the storm in- 
creased ; and the horrors of that night can only be told by 
those who have felt the like. The plunging of the vessel, the 
creaking and straining of the timbers, the hollow and sepul- 
chral sound of waves striking against the hull, and the 
shiver with which, like a living creature, she seemed to 
tremble at every shock, were things frightful even to the 
experienced sailor ; much more so to our trembling 
refugees. 

The morning dawned only to show the sailors their bark 
drifting helplessly toward a fatal shore, whose name is a 
sound of evil omen to seamen. 

It was not long before the final crash came, and the 
ship was wedged among rugged rocks, washed over every 
moment by the fury of the waves. 

All hands came now on deck for the last chance of life. 
One boat after another was attempted to be launched, but 
was swamped by the furious waters. When the last boat 
was essayed, there was a general rush of all on board. It 
was the last chance for life. In such hours the instinctive fear 
of death often overbears every other consideration ; and the 
boat was rapidly filled by the hands of the ship, who, being 
strongest and most accustomed to such situations, were 
more able to effect this than the passengers. The captain 
alone remained standing on the wreck, and with him Ilarry, 
Lisette, Tiff, and the children. 

" Pass along," said the captain, hastily pressing Lisette on 
ooard, simply because she was the first that came to hand. 

" Tor de good Lord's sake," said Tiff, " put de chil'en on 
ooard ; dere won't be no room for me, and 't an't no matter ! 
^ou go 'board and take care of 'em," he said, pushing 
Harry along. 



FLIGHT. 327 

Harry mechanically sprang into the boat, and the cap- 
tain after him. The boat was full. 

" 0, do take poor Tiff — do ! " said the children, stretch- 
ing their hands after their old friend. 

" Clear away, boys, — the boat's full ! " shouted a dozen 
voices ; and the boat parted from the wreck, and sunk in 
eddies and whirls of boiling waves, foam, and spray, and 
went, rising and sinking, onward driven toward the 
shore. 

A few, looking backwards, saw a mighty green wave 
come roaring and shaking its crested head, lift the hull as 
if it had been an egg-shell, then dash it in fragments upon 
the rocks. This was all they knew, till they were them- 
selves cast, wet and dripping, but still living, upon the 
sands. 

A crowd of people were gathered upon the shore, who, 
with the natural kindness of humanity on such occasions, 
gathered the drenched and sea-beaten' wanderers into 
neighboring cottages, where food and fire, and changes of 
dry clothing, awaited them. 

The children excited universal sympathy and attention, 
and so many mothers of the neighborhood came bringing 
offerings of clothing, that their lost wardrobe was soon very 
tolerably replaced. But nothing could comfort them for the 
loss of their old friend. In vain the " little dears " were 
tempted with offers of cake and custard, and every imagin- 
able eatable. They sat with their arms around each other, 
quietly weeping. 

No matter how unsightly the casket may be which holds 
all the love there is on earth for us, be that love lodged in 
the heart of the poorest and most uneducated, the whole 
world can offer no exchange for the loss of it. 

Tiff's devotion to these children had been so constant, 
so provident, so absolute, that it did not seem to them pos- 
sible they could live a day without him ; and the desolation 
of their lot seemed to grow upon them every hour. Noth- 
ing would restrain them. They would go out and look up 
n. 28* 



328 FLIGHT. 

and down, if, perhaps, they might meet him ; but they 
searched in vain. And ITarry, who had attended them, led 
them back again, disconsolate. 

" I say, Fanny," said Teddy, after they had said their 
prayers, and laid clown in their little bed, " has Tiff gone to 
heaven ? " 

" Certainly he has," said Fanny, " if ever anybody went 
there." 

" Won't he come and bring us pretty soon ? " said Teddy. 
" He won't want to be there without us, will he ? " 

" 0, I don't know," said Fanny. " I wish we could go ; 
the world is so lonesome ! " 

And, thus talking, the children fell asleep. But it is 
written in an ancient record, " Weeping may endure for a 
night, but joy cometh in the morning ;" and, verily, the next 
morning Teddy started up in bed, and awakened his sister 
with a cry of joy. 

"0, Fanny! Fanny! Tiff isn't dead! I heard him 
laughing 1 ." 

Fanny started up, and, sure enough, there came through 
the partition which separated their little sleeping-room 
from the kitchen a sound very much like Tiff's old, unctu- 
ous laugh. 

One would have thought no other pair of lungs could 
have rolled out the jolly Ho, ho, ho, with such a joyous 
fulness of intonation. 

• The children hastily put on their clothes, and opened the 
door. 

"Why, bress de Lord! poppets, here dey is, sure 
'nough ! Ho ! ho ! ho ! " said Tiff, stretching out his 
arms, while both the children ran and hung upon him. 

"0, Tiff, we are so glad! 0, we thought you was 
drowned ; we 've been thinking so all night." 

"No, no, no, bress de Lord! You don't get shet of Ole 
Tiff dat ar way ! Won't get shet him till ye 's fetched up, 
and able to do for yerselves." 

" 0, Tiff, how did you get away ? " 



FLIGHT. 329 

"Laws ! why, chil'ens, 'twas a very strait way. I told 
de Lord 'bout it. Says I, ' Good Lord, you knows I don't 
car nothing- 'bout it on my own 'count ; but 'pears like 
dese cbil'en is so young and tender, I could n't leave dem, 
no way ; ' and so I axed him if he wouldn't jest please to 
help me, 'cause I knowed he had de power of de winds and 
de sea. Well, sure 'nough, dat ar big wave toted me clar up 
right on de sho' ; but it tuk my brefif and my senses so I 
did n't farly know whar I was. And de peoples dat foun' 
me took me a good bit 'way to a house down here, and dey 
was 'mazing good to me, and rubbed me wid de hot flan- 
nels, and giv me one ting and anoder, so 't I woke up 
quite peart dis mornin', and came out to look up my pop- 
pets ; 'cause, yer see, it was kinder borne in on my mind 
dat I should find you. And now yer see, chil'en, you mark 
my words, de Lord ben wid us in six troubles, and in seven, 
and he '11 bring us to good luck yet. Tell ye, de sea han't 
washed dat ar out o' me, for all its banging and bruising." 
And Tiff chuckled in the fulness of his heart, and made a 
joyful noise. 

His words were so far accomplished that, before many 
days, the little party, rested and refreshed, and with the 
losses of their wardrobe made up by friendly contributions, 
found themselves under the roof of some benevolent friends 
in New York. 

Thither, in due time, the other detachment of their 
party arrived, which had come forward under the guidance 
of Hannibal, by ways and means which, as they may be 
wanted for others in like circumstances, we shall not further 
particularize. 

Harry, by the kind patronage of friends, soon obtained 
employment, which placed him and his wife in a situation 
of comfort. 

Milly and her grandson, and Old Tiff and his children, 
were enabled to hire a humble tenement together ; and she, 
finding employment as a pastry-cook in a confectioner's 
establishment, was able to provide a very comfortable 



330 FLIGHT. 

support, while Tiff presided in the housekeeping depart 
ment. 

After a year or two an event occurred of so romantic a 
nature, that, had we not ascertained it as a positive fact, 
we should hesitate to insert it in our veracious narrative. 

Fanny's mother had an aunt in the Peyton family, a 
maiden lady of very singular character, who, by habits of 
great penuriousness, had amassed a large fortune, apparently 
for no other purpose than that it should, some day, fall 
into the hands of somebody who would know how to 
enjoy it. 

Having quarrelled, shortly before her death, with all her 
other relatives, she cast about in her mind for ways and 
means to revenge herself on them, by placing her property 
out of their disposal. 

She accordingly made a will, bequeathing it to the heirs 
of her niece Susan, if any such heirs existed ; and if not, the 
property was to go to an orphan asylum. 

By chance, the lawyer's letter of inquiry was addressed 
to Clayton, who immediately took the necessary measures 
to identify the children, and put them in possession of the 
property. 

Tiff now was glorious. " lie always knowed it," he said, 
" dat Miss Sue's chil'en would come to luck, and dat de 
Lord would open a door for them, and he had." 

Fanny, who was now a well-grown girl of twelve years, 
chose Clayton as her guardian ; and, by his care, she was 
placed at one of the best New England schools, where her 
mind and her person developed rapidly. 

Her brother was placed at school in the same town. 

As for Clayton, after some inquiry and consideration, he 
bought a large and valuable tract of land in that portion of 
Canada where the climate is least severe, and the land the 
most valuable for culture. 

To this place he removed his slaves, and formed there a 
township, which is now one of the richest and finest in the 
region. 



FLIGHT. 331 

Here he built for himself a beautiful residence, where he 
and his sister live happily together, finding their enjoyment 
in the improvement of those by whom they are surrounded. 

It is a striking comment on the success of Clayton's 
enterprise, that the neighboring white settlers, who at first 
looked coldly upon him, fearing he would be the means of 
introducing a thriftless population among them, have been 
entirely won over, and that the value of the improvements 
which Clayton and his tenants have made has nearly doubled 
the price of real estate in the vicinity. 

So high a character have his schools borne, that the white 
settlers in the vicinity have discontinued their own, pre- 
ferring to have their children enjoy the advantages of those 
under his and his sister's patronage and care.* 

Harry is one of the head men of the settlement, and is 
rapidly acquiring property and consideration in the commu- 
nity. 

A large farm, waving with some acres of fine wheat, with 
its fences and out-houses in excellent condition, marks the 
energy and thrift of Hannibal, who, instead of slaying men, 
is great in felling trees and clearing forests. 

He finds time, winter evenings, to read, with "none to 
molest or make afraid." His oldest son is construing 
Caesar's Commentaries at school, and often reads his lesson 
of an evening to his delighted father, who willingly resigns 
the palm of scholarship into his hands 

As to our merry friend Jim, he is the life of the settle- 
ment. Liberty, it is true, has made him a little more sober; 
and a very energetic and capable wife, soberer still ; but 
yet Jim has enough and to spare of drollery, which makes 
him an indispensable requisite in all social gatherings. 

He works on his farm with energy, and repels with indig- 
nation any suggestion that he was happier in the old times, 
when he had abundance of money, and very little to do. 

* These statements are all true of the Elgin settlement, founded by Mr. 
King, a gentleman who removed and settled his slaves in the south of Canada. 



332 FLIGHT. 

One suggestion more we almost hesitate to make, lest it 
should give rise to unfounded reports ; but we are obliged 
to speak the truth. 

Anne Clayton, on a visit to a friend's family in New 
Hampshire, met with Livy Ray, of whom she had heard 
Nina speak so much, and very naturally the two ladies fell 
into a most intimate friendship ; visits were exchanged 
between them, and Clayton, on first introduction, discov- 
ered the lady he had met in the prison in Alexandria. 

The most intimate friendship exists between the three, 
and, of course, in such cases reports will arise ; but we 
assure our readers we have never heard of any authentic 
foundation for them ; so that, in this matter, we can clearly 
leave every one to predict a result according to their own 
fancies. 

We have now two sketches, with which the scenery of 
our book must close. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

CLEAR SHTXIXG AFTEE RAIN. 

Clayton had occasion to visit New York on business. 

lie never went without carrying some token of remem- 
brance from the friends in his settlement to Milly, now 
indeed far advanced in years, while yet, in the expressive 
words of Scripture, "her eye was not dim, nor her natural 
force abated." 

He found her in a neat little tenement in one of the outer 
streets of New York, surrounded by about a dozen children, 
among 1 whom were blacks, whites, and foreigners. These 
she had rescued from utter destitution in the streets, and was 
giving to them all the attention and affection of a mother. ■ 

" Why, bless you, sir," she said to him, pleasantly, as he 
opened the door, "it's good to see you once more ! How 
is Miss Anne ? " 

" Very well, Milly. She sent you this little packet ; and 
you will find something from Harry and Lisette, and all the 
rest of your friends in our settlement. — Ah! are these all 
your children, Milly ? " 

"Yes, honey; mine and de Lord's. Dis yer 's my sec- 
ond dozen. De fust is all in good places, and doing well. 
I keeps my eye on 'em, and goes round to see after 'em a 
little, now and then." 

" And how is Tomtit ? " 

"0, Tomtit's doing beautiful, thank 'e, sir. He 's 'come 
a Christian, and jined the church ; and they has him to wait 
and tend at the anti-slavery office, and he does well." 

" I see you have black and white here," said Clayton, 



334 CLEAR SHINING AFTER RAIN. 

glancing around the circle. " Laws, yes,' 7 said Milly, look- 
ing complacently around ; " I don't make no distinctions of 
color, — I don't believe in them. White chil'en, when they 
'haves themselves, is jest as good as black, and I loves 'em 
jest as well." 

" Don't you sometimes think it a little hard you should 
have to work so in your old age ? " 

" Why, bress you, honey, no ! I takes comfort of my 
money as I goes along. Dere 's a heap in me yet," she 
said, laughing. " I 's hoping to get dis yer batch put out and 
take in anoder afore I die. You see," she said, " dis yer's 
de way I took to get my heart whole. I found it was get- 
ting so sore for my chil'en I 'd had took from me, 'pears 
like the older I grow'd the more I thought about 'em ; but 
long 's I keeps doing for chil'en it kinder eases it. I calls 
'em all mine ; so I 's got good many chil'en now." 

We will inform our reader, in passing, that Milly, in the 
course of her life, on the humble wages of a laboring 
woman, took from the streets, brought up, and placed in 
reputable situations, no less than forty destitute children.* 

When Clayton returned to Boston, he received a note 
written in a graceful female hand, from Fanny, expressing 
her gratitude for his kindness to her and her brother, and 
begging that he would come and spend a day with them at 
their cottage in the vicinity of the city. Accordingly, eight 
o'clock the next morning found him whirling in the cars 
through green fields and pleasant meadows, garlanded with 
flowers and draped with bending elms, to one of those 
peaceful villages which lie like pearls on the bosom of our 
fair old mother, Massachusetts. 

Stopping at station, he inquired his way up to a 

little eminence which commanded a view of one of those 
charming lakes which open their blue eyes everywhere 

* These circumstances are true of an old colored woman in New York, known 
by the name of Aunt Katy, who in her youth was a slave, and who is said to 
have established among these destitute children the first Sunday-school in the 
city of New York. 



CLEAR SHINING AFTER RAIN. 335 

through the New England landscape. Here, embowered in 
blossoming trees, stood a little Gothic cottage, a perfect 
gem of rural irregularity and fanciful beauty. A porch in 
the front of it was supported on pillars of cedar, with the 
rough bark still on, around which were trained multitudes of 
climbing roses, now in full flower. From the porch a rustic 
bridge led across a little ravine into a summer-house, which 
was built like a nest into the branches of a great oak which 
grew up from the hollow below the knoll on which the house 
stood. 

A light form, dressed in a pretty white wrapper, came 
fluttering across the bridge, as Clayton ascended the steps 
of the porch. Perhaps our readers may recognize in the 
smoothly-parted brown hair, the large blue eyes, and the 
bashful earnestness of the face, our sometime little friend 
Fanny ; if they do not, we think they '11 be familiar with 
the cheery "ho, ho, ho," which comes from the porch, as our 
old friend Tiff, dressed in a respectable suit of black, comes 
bowing forward. " Bress de Lord, Mas'r Clayton, — it's 
good for de eyes to look at you ! So, you 's come to see 
Miss Fanny, now she 's come to her property, and has got 
de place she ought for to have. Ah, ah ! — Old Tiff allers 
know'd it ! He seed it — he know'd de Lord would bring 
her out right, and he did. Ho ! ho ! ho ! " 

"Yes," said Fanny, "and I sometimes think I don't 
enjoy it half as well as Uncle Tiff. I 'm sure he ought to 
have some comfort of us, for he worked hard enough for us, 
— didn't you, Uncle Tiff? " 

" Work! bress your soul, didn't I?" said Tiff, giggling 
all over in cheerful undulations. "Reckon I has worked, 
though I does n't have much of it to do now ; but I sees 
good of my work now'days, — does so. Mas'r Teddy, he 's 
grow'd up tall, han'some young gen'leman, and he 's in col- 
lege, — only tink of dat ! Laws ! he can make de Latin 
fly ! Dis yer 's pretty good country, too. Dere 's families 
round here dat 's e'enamost up to old Virginny ; and she 
goes with de best on 'em — dat she does " 
ii. 20 



336 CLEAE SHINING AFTER RAIN. 

Fanny now led Clayton into the house, and, while she 
tripped up stairs to change her morning dress, Tiff busied 
himself in arranging cake and fruit on a silver salver, as an 
apology for remaining in the room. 

He seemed to consider the interval as an appropriate one 
for making some confidential communications on a subject 
that lay very near his heart. So, after looking out of the 
door with an air of great mystery, to ascertain that Miss 
Fanny was really gone, he returned to Clayton, and touched 
him on the elbow with an air of infinite secrecy and pre- 
caution. 

" Bis yer an 't to be spoke of out loud," he said. " I 's 
ben mighty anxious ; but, bress de Lord, I 's come safely 
through ; 'cause, yer see, I 's found out he 's a right likely 
man, beside being one of de very fustest old families in de 
state ; and dese yer old families here 'bout as good as dey 
was in Virginny ; and, when all 's said and done, it 's de 
men dat's de ting, after all; 'cause a gal can't marry all 
de generations back, if dey 's ever so nice. But he 's one 
of your likeliest men." 

" What 's his name ? " said Clayton. 

"Russel," said Tiff, lifting up his hand apprehensively to 
his mouth, and shouting out the name in a loud whisper. 
" I reckon he '11 be here to-day, 'cause Mas'r Teddy 's com- 
ing home, and going to bring him wid him ; so please, Mas'r 
Clayton, you won't notice nothing ; 'cause Miss Fanny, 
she's jest like her ma, — she'll turn red clar up to her 
bar, if a body only looks at ner. See here," said Tiff, fum- 
bling in his pocket, and producing a spectacle-case, out of 
which he extracted a portentous pair of gold-mounted spec- 
tacles ; "see what he give me, de last time he's here. I 
puts dese yer on of a Sundays, when I sets clown to read 
my Bible." 

"Indeed," said Clayton; "have you learned, then, to 
read ? " 

"Why, no, honey, I don'no as I can rightly say dat I 's 
larn'd to read, 'cause I 's 'mazing slow at dat ar ; but, den, 



CLEAR SHINING AFTER RAIN. 337 

I 's larn'd all de best words, like Christ, Lord, and God, 
and dem ar ; and whar dey 's pretty thick, I makes out 
quite comfortable." 

We shall not detain our readers with minute descriptions 
of how the day was spent : how Teddy came home from 
college a tall, handsome fellow, and rattled over Latin and 
Greek sentences in Tiff 's delighted ears, who considered his 
learning as, without doubt, the eighth wonder of the world ; 
nor how George Eussel came with him, a handsome 
senior, just graduated ; nor how Fanny blushed and trem- 
bled when she told her guardian her little secret, and, like 
other ladies, asked advice after she had made up her mind. 

Nor shall we dilate on the yet brighter glories of the cot- 
tage three months after, when Clayton, and Anne, and Livy 
Ray, were all at the wedding, and Tiff became three 
and four times blessed in this brilliant consummation of his 
hopes. The last time we saw him he was walking forth in 
magnificence, his gold spectacles set conspicuously astride 
of his nose, trundling a little wicker wagon, which cradled 
a fair, pearly little Miss Fanny, whom he informed all 
beholders was " de very sperit of de Peytons." 



APPENDIX I 



NAT TURNER'S CONFESSIONS. 

As an illustration of the character and views ascribed to Dred, we make 
a few extracts from the Confessions of Nat Turner, as published by T. R 
Gray, Esq., of Southampton, Virginia, in November, 1831. One of the 
principal conspirators in this affair was named Dred. 

We will first give the certificate of the court, and a few sentences from 
Mr. Gray's introductoi'y remarks, and then proceed with Turner's own 
narrative. 

" We, the undersigned, members of the court convened at Jerusalem, on 
Saturday, the fifth day of November, 1831, for the trial of Nat, alias Nat 
Turner, a negro slave, late the property of Putnam Moore, deceased, do 
hereby certify, that the confession of Nat, to Thomas R. Gray, was read to 
him in our presence, and that Nat acknowledged the same to be full, free, 
and voluntary ; and that furthermore, when called upon by the presiding 
magistrate of the court to state if he had anything to say why sentence of 
death should not be passed upon him, replied he had nothing further than 
he had communicated to Mr. Gray. Given under our hands and seals at 
Jerusalem, this fifth day of November, 1831. 

Jeremiau Cobb, (Seal.) Thomas Pretlow, (Seal.) 

James W. Parker, (Seal.) Carr Bowers, (Seal.) 

Samuel B. Hixes, (Seal.) Orris A. Browne, (Seal.) " 

" State of Virginia, Southampton County, to wit: 

"I, James Rochelle, Clerk of the County Court of Southampton, in the 
State of Virginia, do hereby certify, that Jeremiah Cobb, Thomas Pretlow, 
James W. Parker, Carr Bowers, Samuel B. Hines, and Orris A. Browne, 
Esqrs., are acting justices of the peace in and for the county aforesaid ; 
and were members of the court which convened at Jerusalem, on Saturday, 
the fifth day of November, 1831, for the trial of Nat, alias Nat Turner, a 
negro slave, late the property of Putnam Moore, deceased, who was tried 



APPENDIX. 339 

and convicted, as an insurgent in the late insurrection in the County of 
Southampton aforesaid, and that full faith and credit are due and ought 
to be given to their acts as justices of the peace aforesaid. 

{Seal.) In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set 

my hand, and caused the seal of the court 
aforesaid to be affixed, this fifth day of 
November, 1831. 

James Rochelle, C. S. C. C." 

" Everything connected with this sad affair was wrapt in mystery, until 
Nat Turxek, the leader of this ferocious band, whose name has resounded 
throughout our widely-extended empire, was captured. 

"Since his confinement, by permission of the jailer, I have had ready 
access to him ; and, finding that he was willing to make a full and free con- 
fession of the origin, progress, and consummation, of the insurrectory move- 
ments of the slaves, of which he was the contriver and head, I determineu, 
for the gratification of public curiosity, to commit his statements to writing, 
and publish them, with little or no variation, from his own words. 

" He was not only the contriver of the conspiracy, but gave the first blow 
towards its execution. 

" It will thus appear, that whilst everything upon the surface of society 
wore a calm and peaceful aspect, whilst not one note of preparation vv;- q 
heard to warn the devoted inhabitants of woe and death, a gloomy fanatic 
was revolving in the recesses of his own dark, bewildered, and overwrought 
mind, schemes of indiscriminate massacre to the whites. Schemes too fear- 
fully executed, as far as his fiendish band proceeded in their desolating 
march. No cry for mercy penetrated their flinty bosoms. No acts of re- 
membered kindness made the least impression upon these remorseless mur- 
derers. Men, women, and children, from hoary age to helpless infancy, 
were involved in the same cruel fate. Never did a band of savages do their 
work of death more unsparingly. 

" Nat has survived all his followers, and the gallows will speedily close 
his career. His own account of the conspiracy is submitted to the public, 
without comment. It reads an awful, and, it is hoped, a useful lesson, as 
to the operations of a mind like his, endeavoring to grapple with things 
beyond its reach. How it first became bewildered and confounded, and 
finally corrupted and led to the conception and perpetration of the most 
atrocious and heartrending deeds. 

" If Nat's statements can be relied on, the insurrection in this county 
was entirely local, and his designs confided but to a few, and these in his im- 
mediate vicinity. It was not instigated by motives of revenge or sudden 
anger ; but the result of long deliberation, and a settled purpose of mind — 
the offspring of gloomy fanaticism acting upon materials but too well pre- 
pared for such impressions." 
ii. 29* 



840 APPENDIX. 

" I was thirty-one years of age the second of October last, and born the 
property of Benjamin Turner, of this county. In my childhood a circum- 
stance occurred which made an indelible impression on my mind, and laid 
the groundwork of that enthusiasm which has terminated so fatally to 
many, both white and black, and for which I am about to atone at the 
gallows. It is here necessary to relate this circumstance. Trilling as it 
may seem, it was the commencement of that belief which has grown with 
time ; and even now, sir, in this dungeon, helpless and forsaken as I am, 
I cannot divest myself of. Being at play with other children, when three 
or four years old, I was telling them something, which my mother, over- 
hearing, said it had happened before I was born. I stuck to my story, 
however, and related some thingo which went, in her opinion, to confirm it. 
Others being called on, were greatly astonished, knowing that these things 
had happened, and caused them io say, in my hearing, I surely would be a 
prophet, as the Lord had shown me things that had happened before my 
birth. And mj father and mother strengthened me in this my first im- 
pression, saying, in my presence, I was intended for some great purpose, 
which they had always thought from certain marks on my head and breast. 
(A parcel of excrescences, which, I believe, are not at all uncommon, 
particularly among negroes, as I have seen several with the same. In this 
case he has either cut them off, or they have nearly disappeared. ) 

" My grandmother, who was very religious, and to whom I was much 
attached — my master, who belonged to the church, and other religious 
persons who visited the house, as.l whom I often saw at prayers, noticing 
the singularity of my manners, l suppose, and my uncommon intelligence 
for a child, remarked I had too much sense to be raised, and, if I was, I 
would never be of any service to any one as a slave. To a mind like mine, 
restless, inquisitive, and observant of everything that was passing, it is 
easy to suppose that religion was the subject to which it would be directed ; 
and, although this subject principally occupied my thoughts, there was 
nothing that I saw or heard of to which my attention was not directed. 
The manner in which I learned to read and write, not only had great influ- 
ence on my own mind, as I acquired it with the most perfect ease, — so much 
so, that I have no recollection whatever of learning the alphabet ; but, to 
the astonishment of the family, one day, when a book was shown me, to 
keep me from crying, I began spelling the names of different objects. This 
was a source of wonder to all in the neighborhood, particularly the blacks 
— and this learning was constantly improved at all opportunities. When I 
got large enough to go to work, while employed I was reflecting on many 
things that would present themselves to my imagination ; and whenever 
an opportunity occurred of looking at a book, when the school-children 
were getting their lessons, I would find many things that the fertility of my 
own imagination had depicted to me before. All my time, not devoted to 
my master's service, was spent either in prayer, or in making experiments 



APPENDIX. 841 

in casting different things in moulds made of earth, in attempting to make 
paper, gunpowder, and many other experiments, that, although I could not 
perfect, yet convinced me of its practicability if I had the means.* 

" I was not addicted to stealing in my youth, nor have ever been ; yet 
such was the confidence of the negroes in the neighborhood, even at this 
early period of my life, in my superior judgment, that they would often 
carry me with them when they were going on any roguery, to plan for 
them. Growing up among them with this confidence in my superior judg- 
ment, and when this, in their opinions, was perfected by Divine inspiration, 
from the circumstances already alluded to in my infancy, and which belief 
was ever afterwards zealously inculcated by the austerity of my life and 
manners, which became the subject of remark by white and black ; having 
soon discovered to be great, I must appear so, and therefore studiously 
avoided mixing in society, and wrapped myself in mystery, devoting my 
time to fasting and prayer. 

" By this time, having arrived to man's estate, and hearing the Scrip- 
tures commented on at meetings, I was struck with that particular passage 
which says, ' Seek ye the kingdom of heaven, and all things shall be 
added unto you.' I reflected much on this passage, and prayed daily for 
light on this subject. As I was praying one day at my plough, the Spirit 
spoke to me, saying, ' Seek ye the kingdom of heaven, and all things shall 
be added unto you.' Question. 'What do you mean by the Spirit?' 
Answer. ' The Spirit that spoke to the prophets in former days,' — and I 
was greatly astonished, and for two years prayed continually, whenever my 
duty would permit ; and then again I had the same revelation, which 
fullj r confirmed me in the impression that I was ordained for some great 
purpose in the hands of the Almighty. Several years rolled round, in 
which many events occurred to strengthen me in this my belief. At this 
time I reverted in my mind to the remarks made of me in my childhood, 
and the things that had been shown me ; and as it had been said of me in 
my childhood, by those by whom I had been taught to pray, both white and 
black, and in whom I had the greatest confidence, that I had too much 
sense to be raised, and if I was I would never be of any use to any one as a 
slave ; now, finding I had arrived to man's estate, and was a slave, and 
these revelations being made known to me, I began to direct my attention 
to this great object, to fulfil the purpose for which, by this time, I felt 
assured I was intended. Knowing the influence I had obtained over the 
minds of my fellow-servants — (not by the means of conjuring and such-like 
tricks — for to them I always spoke of such things with contempt), but by 
the communion of the Spirit, whose revelations I often communicated to 
them, and they believed and said my wisdom came from God, — Inow began to 

* When questioned as to the manner of manufacturing those different articles, he was 
found well informed. 



342 APPENDIX. 

prepare them for my purpose, by telling them something was about to hap- 
pen that would terminate in fulfilling the great promise that had been 
made to me. 

" About this time I was placed under an overseer, from whom I ran away, 
and, after remaining in the woods thirty days, I returned, to the astonish- 
ment of the negroes on the plantation, who thought I had made my escape 
to some other part of the country, as my father had done before. But the 
reason of my return was, that the Spirit appeared to me and said I had my 
wishes directed to the things of this world, and not to the kingdom of 
heaven, and that I should return to the service of my earthly master — 
' For he who knoweth his Master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten 
with many stripes, and thus have I chastened you.' And the negroes 
found fault, and murmured against me, saying that if they had my sense 
they would not serve any master in the world. And about this time I had 
a vision — and I saw white spirits and black spirits engaged in battle, and 
the sun was darkened — the thunder rolled in the heavens, and blood 
flowed in streams — and I heard a voice saying, 'Such is your luck, such 
you are called to see ; and let it come rough or smooth, you must surely 
bear it.' 

"I now withdrew myself as much as my situation would permit from 
the intercourse of my fellow-servants, for the avowed purpose of serving 
the Spirit more fully ; and it appeared to me, and reminded me of the 
things it had already shown me, and that it would then reveal to me the 
knowledge of the elements, the revolution of the planets, the operation of 
tides, and changes of the seasons. After this revelation in the year 1825, 
and the knowledge of the elements being made known to me, I sought more 
than ever to obtain true holiness before the great day of judgment should 
appear, and then I began to receive the true knowledge of faith. And from 
the first steps of righteousness until the last, was I made perfect ; and the 
Holy Ghost was with me, and said, ' Behold me as I stand in the heavens.' 
And I looked and saw the forms of men in different attitudes ; and there 
were lights in the sky, to which the children of darkness gave other names 
than what they really were; for they were the lights of the Saviour's hands, 
stretched forth from east to west, even as they were extended on the cross 
on Calvary for the redemption of sinners. And I wondered greatly at these 
miracles, and prayed to be informed of a certainty of the meaning thereof ; 
and shortly afterwards, while laboring in the field, I discovered drops of 
blood on the corn, as though it were dew from heaven ; and I communi- 
cated it to many, both white and black, in the neighborhood — snd I then 
found on the leaves in the woods hieroglyphic characters and numbers, 
with the forms of men in different attitudes, portrayed in blood, and repre- 
senting the figures I had seen before in the heavens. And now the Holy 
Ghost had revealed itself to me, and made plain the miracles it had shown 
me ; for as the blood of Christ had been shed on this earth, and had 



APPENDIX. 343 

ascended to heaven for the salvation of sinners, and was now returning to 
earth again in the form of dew, — and as the leaves on the trees bore the 
impression of the figures I had seen in the heavens, — it was plain to me 
that the Saviour was about to lay down the yoke he had borne for the sins 
of men, and the great day of judgment was at. hand. 

" About this time I told these things to a white man (Etheldred T. Brant- 
ley), on whom it had a wonderful effect ; and he ceased from his wicked- 
ness, and was attacked immediately with a cutaneous eruption, and blood 
oozed from the pores of his skin, and after praying and fasting nine days 
he was healed. And the Spirit appeared to me again, and said, as the 
Saviour had been baptized, so should we be also ; and when the white peo- 
ple would not let us be baptized by the church, we went down into the water 
together, in the sight of many who reviled us, and were baptized by the 
Spirit. After this I rejoiced greatly, and gave thanks to God. And on the 
12th of May, 1828, I heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit 
instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ 
had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should 
take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching 
when the first should be last and the last should be first. Ques. ' Do you 
not find yourself mistaken now ? ' — Jlns. • Was not Christ crucified ? ' And 
by signs in the heavens that it would make known to me when I should 
commence the great work, and until the first sign appeared I should con- 
ceal it from the knowledge of men ; and on the appearance of the sign 
(the eclipse of the sun, last February), I should arise and prepare myself, 
and slay my enemies with their own weapons. And immediately on the 
sign appearing in the heavens, the seal was removed from my lips, and I 
communicated the great work laid out for me to do, to four in whom I had 
the greatest confidence (Henry, Hark, Nelson, and Sam). It was intended 
by us to have begun the work of death on the 4th of July last. Many 
were the plans formed and rejected by us, and it affected my mind to such 
a degree that I fell sick, and the time passed without our coming to any 
determination how to commence — still forming new schemes and rejecting 
them, when the sign appeared again, which determined me not to wait 
longer. 

" Since the commencement of 1830 I had been living with Mr. Joseph 
Travis, who was to me a kind master, and placed the greatest confidence 
in me ; in fact, I had no cause to complain of his treatment to me. On 
Saturday evening, the 20th of August, it was agreed between Henry, 
Hark, and myself, to prepare a dinner the next day for the men we ex- 
pected, and then to concert a plan, as we had not yet determined on any. 
Hark, on the following morning, brought a pig, and Henry brandy ; and 
being joined by Sam, Nelson, Will, and Jack, they prepared in the woods a 
dinner, where, about three o'clock, I joined them." 

" Q. Why were you so backward in joining them? " 



344 APPENDIX. 

" A. The same reason that had caused me not to mix with them for 
years before. 

'• I saluted them on coming up, and asked Will how came he there. 
He answered, his life was worth no more than others, and his liberty as 
dear to him. I asked him if lie thought to obtain it. He said he would, 
or lose his life. This was enough to put him in full confidence. Jack, I 
knew, was only a tool in the hands of Hark. It was quickly agreed we 
should commence a home (Mr. J. Travis') on that night ; and until we had 
armed and equipped ourselves, and gathered sufficient force, neither age 
nor sex was to be spared — which was invariably adhered to. We remained 
at the feast until about two hours in the night, when we went to the house 
and found Austin." 

We will not go into the horrible details of the various massacres, 
but only make one or two extracts, to show the spirit .and feelings of 
Turner : 

" I then went to Mr. John T. Harrow's ; they had been here and mur- 
dered him. I pursued on their track to Capt. Newit Harris', where I found 
the greater part mounted and ready to start. The men, now amounting to 
about forty, shouted and hurraed as I rode up. Some were in the yard, load- 
ing their guns ; others drinking. They said Captain Harris and his family 
had escaped ; the property in the house they destroyed, robbing him of 
money and other valuables. I ordered them to mount and march 
instantly ; this was about nine or ten o'clock, Monday morning. I pro- 
ceeded to Mr. Levi Waller's, two or three miles distant. I took my station 
in the rear, and, as it was my object to carry terror and devastation where- 
ever we went, I placed fifteen or twenty of the best armed and most to be 
relied on in front, who generally approached the houses as fist as their 
horses could run. This was for two purposes — to prevent their escape, and 
strike terror to the inhabitants ; on this account I never got to the houses, 
after leaving Mrs. Whitehead's, until the murders were committed, except 
in one case. I sometimes got in sight in time to see the work of death 
completed ; viewed the mangled bodies as they lay, in silent satisfaction, and 
immediately started in quest of other victims. Having murdered Mrs. 
Waller and ten children, we started for Mr. Wm. Williams', — having killed 
him and two little boys that were there ; while engaged in this, Mrs. Wil- 
liams fled and got some distance from the house, but she was pursued, 
overtaken, and compelled to get up behind one of the company, who 
brought her back, and, after showing her the mangled body of her life- 
less husband, she was told to get down and lay by his side, where she was 
shot dead. 

" The white men pursued and fired on us several times. Hark had his 
horse shot under him, and I caught another for him as it was running by 
me ; five or six of my men were wounded, but none left on the field. Find- 
ing myself defeated here, I instantly determined to go through a private 



APPENDIX. 345 

way, and cross the Nottoway River at the Cypress Bridge, three miles 
below Jerusalem, and attack that place in the rear, as I expected they 
would look for me on the other road, and I had a great desire to get there 
to procure arms and ammunition. After going a short distance in this 
private way, accompanied by about twenty men, I overtook two or three, 
who told me the others were dispersed in every direction. 

" On this. I gave up all hope for the present ; and on Thursday night, 
after having supplied myself with provisions from Mr. Travis', I 
scratched a hole under a pile of fence-rails in a field, where I concealed 
myself for six weeks, never leaving my hiding-place but for a few minutes 
in the dead of the night to get water, which was very near. Thinking by 
this time I could venture out, I began to go about in the night, and eaves- 
drop the houses in the neighborhood ; pursuing this course for about a 
fortnight, and gathering little or no intelligence, afraid of speaking to any 
human being, and returning every morning to my cave before the dawn of 
day. I know not how long I might have led this life, if accident had not 
betrayed me. A dog in the neighborhood passing by my hiding-place one 
night while I was out, was attracted by some meat I had in my cave, and 
crawled in and stole it, and was coming out just as I returned. A few nights 
after, two negroes having started to go hunting with the same dog, and 
passed that way, the dog came again to the place, and having just gone 
out to walk about, discovered me and barked ; on which, thinking myself 
discovered, I spoke to them to beg concealment. On making myself known, 
they fled from me. Knowing then they would betray me, I immediately 
left my hiding-place, and was pursued almost incessantly, until 1 was taken, 
a fortnight afterwards, by Mr. Benjamin Phipps, in a little hole I had dug 
out with my sword, for the purpose of concealment, under the top of a fallen 
tree. 

" During the time I was pursued, I had many hair-breadth escapes, which 
your time will not permit you to relate. I am here loaded with chains, and 
willing to suffer the fate that awaits me." 

Mr. Gray asked him if he knew of any extensive or concerted plan. His 
answer was, I do not. When I questioned him as to the insurrection in 
North Carolina happening about the same time, he denied any knowledge 
of it ; and when I looked him in the face, as though I would search his in- 
most thoughts, he replied, " I see, sir, you doubt my word ; but can you 
not think the same ideas, and strange appearances about this time in the 
heavens, might prompt others, as well as myself, to this undertaking? " I 
now had much conversation with and asked him many questions, having 
forborne to do so previously, except in the cases noted in parenthesis ; but 
during his statement, I had, unnoticed by him, taken notes as to some par- 
ticular circumstances, and, having the advantage of his statement before me 
in writing, on the evening of the third day that I had been with him, I 
began a cross-examination, and found his statement corroborated by every 



34:6 APPENDIX. 

circumstance coming within my own knowledge, or the confessions of others 
who had been either killed or executed, and whom he had not seen or tad 
any knowledge of since the 22d of August last. He expressed himself fully 
satisfied as to the impracticability of his attempt. It has been said he was 
ignorant and cowardly, and that his object was to murder and rob for the 
purpose of obtaining money to make his escape. It is notorious that he 
was never known to have a dollar in his life, to swear an oath, or drink a 
drop of spirits. As to his ignorance, he certainly never had the advantages 
of education, but he can read and write (it was taught him by his parents), 
and for natural intelligence and quickness of apprehension is surpassed by 
few men I have ever seen. As to his being a coward, his reason as given 
for not resisting Mr. Phipps shows the decision of his character. When he 
saw Mr. Phipps present his gun, he said he knew it was impossible for him 
to escape, as the woods were full of men ; he therefore thought it was better 
to surrender, and trust to fortune for his escape. He is a complete fanatic, 
or plays his part most admirably. On other subjects he possesses an un- 
common share of intelligence, with a mind capable of attaining anything, 
but warped and perverted by the influence of early impressions. He is 
below the ordinary stature, though strong and active, having the true negro 
face, every feature of which is strongly marked. I shall not attempt to de- 
scribe the effect of his narrative, as told and commented on by himself, in 
the condemned hole of the prison. The calm, deliberate composure with 
which he spoke of his late deeds and intentions ; the expression of his fiend- 
like face when excited by enthusiasm, still bearing the stains of the blood 
of helpless innocence about him ; clothed with rags and covered with chains, 
yet daring to raise his manacled hands to heaven, with a spirit soaring 
above the attributes of man. I looked on him, and my blood curdled in 
my veins. 



APPENDIX. 347 



APPENDIX II. 



The chapter headed Jegar Suhadutha contains some terrible stories. It 
is to be said, they are all facts on judicial record, of the most fiend-like cru- 
elty, terminating in the death of the victim, ■where the affair has been judi- 
cially examined, and the perpetrator escaped death, and in most cases any 
punishment for his crime. 

1. Case of Souther. 

" Souther v. The Commonwealth. 7 Grattan, 673, 18-51. 

"The killing of a slave by his master and owner, by wilful and excessive whipping, is mur- 
der in the first degree : though it may not have been the purpose and intention of the 
master and owner to kill the slave. 

" Simon Souther was indicted at the October term, 1850, of the Circuit 
Court for the County of Hanover, for the murder of his own slave. The 
indictment contained fifteen counts, in which the various modes of punish- 
ment and torture by ■which the homicide was charged to have been com- 
mitted were stated singly, and in various combinations. The fifteenth 
count unites them all : and, as the court certifies that the ind.Uiitent was 
sustained by the evidence, the giving the facts stated in that count will 
show what was the charge against the prisoner, and what was the proof to 
sustain it. 

" The count charged that on the 1st day of September, 1849, the prisoner 
tied his negro slave, Sam, with ropes about his wrists, neck, body, legs, and 
ankles, to a tree. That whilst so tied, the prisoner first whipped the slave 
with switches. That he next beat and cobbed the slave with a shingle, and 
compelled two of his slaves, a man and a woman, also to cob the deceased 
with the shingle. That whilst the deceased was so tied to the tree, the 
prisoner did strike, knock, kick, stamp, and beat him upon various parts 
of his head, face, and body ; that he applied fire to his body ; * * * * that 
he then washed his body with warm water, in which pods of red pepper had 
been put and steeped ; and he compelled his two slaves aforesaid also to 
wash him with this same preparation of warm water and red pepper. That 
after the tying, whipping, cobbing, striking, beating, knocking, kicking, 
stamping, wounding, bruising, lacerating, burning, washing, and tortur- 
ing, as aforesaid, the prisoner untied the deceased from the tree in such a 
way as to throw him with violence to the ground ; and he then and there 
did knock, kick, stamp, and beat the deceased upon his head, temples, and 
various parts of his body. That the prisoner then had the deceased carried 
into a shed-room of his house, and there he compelled one of his slaves, in 
his presence, to confine the deceased's feet in stocks, by making his legs fast 

n SO 



348 APPENDIX. 

to a piece of timber, and to tie a rope about the neck of the deceased, and 
fasten it to a bed-post in the room, thereby strangling, choking, and suffo- 
cating, the deceased. And that whilst the deceased was thus. made fast in 
stocks, as aforesaid, the prisoner did kick, knock, stamp, and beat him upon 
his head, face, breast, belly, sides, back, and body ; and he again compelled 
his two slaves to apply fire to the body of the deceased, whilst he was so made 
fast as aforesaid. And the count charged that from these various modes of 
punishment and torture, the slave Sam then and there died. It appeared that 
the prisoner commenced the punishment of the deceased in the morning, and 
that it was continued throughout the day ; and that the deceased died in the 
presence of the prisoner, and one of his slaves, and one of the witnesses, 
whilst the punishment was still progressing. 

" Field J. delivered the opinion of the court. 

" The prisoner was indicted and convicted of murder in the second degree, 
in the Circuit Court of Hanover, at its April term last past, and was sen- 
tenced to the penitentiary for five years, the period of time ascertained by 
the jury. The murder consisted in the killing of a negro man-slave by the 
name of Sam, the property of the prisoner, by cruel and excessive whipping 
and torture, inflicted by Souther, aided by two of his other slaves, on the 
1st day of September, 1849. The prisoner moved for a new trial, upon the 
ground that the offence, if any, amounted only to manslaughter. The mo- 
tion for a new trial was overruled, and a bill of exceptions taken to the 
opinion of the court, setting forth the facts proved, or as many of them as 
were deemed material for the consideration of the application for a new 
trial. The bill of exception states : That the slave Sam, in the indictment 
mentioned, was the slave and property of the prisoner. That for the pur- 
pose of chastising the slave for the offence of getting drunk, and dealing, as 
the slave confessed and alleged, with Henry and Stone, two of the witnesses 
for the Commonwealth, he caused him to be tied and punished in the pres- 
ence of the said witnesses, with the exception of slight whipping with peach 
or apple tree switches, before the said witnesses arrived at the scene after 
they were sent for by the prisoner (who were present by request from the 
defendant) , and of several slaves of the prisoner, in the manner and by the 
means charged in the indictment ; and the said slave died under and from 
the infliction of the said punishment, in the presence of the prisoner, one 
of his slaves, and of one of the witnesses for the Commonwealth. But it 
did not appear that it was the design of the prisoner to kill the said slave, 
unless such design be properly inferable from the manner, means, and dura- 
tion, of the punishment. And, on the contrary, it did appear that the pris- 
oner frequently declared, while 'the said slave was undergoing the punish- 
ment, that he believed the said slave was feigning, and pretending to be suf- 
fering and injured when he was not. The judge certifies that the slave was 
punished in the manner and by the means charged in the indictment. The 



APPENDIX. 3^9. 

indictment contains fifteen counts, and sets forth a case of the most cruel 
and excessive "whipping and torture. * * * * 

" It is believed that the records of criminal jurisprudence do not con- 
tain a case of more atrocious and -wicked cruelty than -was presented upon 
the trial of Souther ; and yet it has been gravely and earnestly contended 
here by his counsel that his offence amounts to manslaughter only. 

" It has been contended by the counsel of the prisoner that a man can- 
not be indicted and prosecuted for the cruel and excessive whipping of his 
own slave. That it is lawful for the master to chastise his slave, and that 
if death ensues from such chastisement, unless it was intended to produce 
death, it is like the case of homicide which is committed by a man in the 
performance of a lawful act, which is manslaughter only. It has been 
decided by this court in Turner's case, 5 Band, that the owner of a slave, 
for the malicious, cruel, and excessive beating of his own slave, cannot be 
indicted ; yet it by no means follows, when such malicious, cruel, and ex- 
cessive beating results in death, though not intended and premeditated, 
that the beating is to be regarded as lawful for the purpose of reducing the 
crime to manslaughter, when the whipping is inflicted for the sole purpose 
of chastisement. It is the policy of the law, in respect to the relation of 
master and slave, and for the sake of securing proper subordination and 
obedience on the part of the slave, to protect the master from prosecu- 
tion in all such cases, even if the whipping and punishment be malicious, 
cruel, and excessive. But in so inflicting punishment for the sake of pun- 
ishment, the owner of the slave acts at his peril ; and if death ensues in 
consequence of such punishment, the relation of master and slave affords 
no ground of excuse or palliation. The principles of the common law, in 
relation to homicide, apply to his case without qualification or exception ; 
and, according to those principles, the act of the prisoner, in the case 
under consideration, amounted to murder. * * * The crime of the 
prisoner is not manslaughter, but murder in the first degree. ' ' 

2. Death of Hark. 

The master is, as ice have asserted, protected from prosecution by ex- 
press enactment, if the victim dies in the act of resistance to his will, or 
under moderate correction. 

" Whereas by another Act of the Assembly, passed in 1774, the killing 
of a slave, however wanton, cruel, and deliberate, is only punishable in 
the first instance by imprisonment and paying the value thereof to the 
owner, which distinction of criminality between the murder of a white per- 
son and one who is equally a human creature, but merely of a different 
complexion, is disgraceful to humanity, and degrading in the high- 
est DEGREE TO THE LAWS AND PRINCIPLES OF A FREE, CHRISTIAN, AND 

enlightened country, Be it enacted, &c, That if any person shall here- 



350 APPENDIX. 

after be guilty of -wilfully and maliciously killing a slave, such offender 
shall, upon the first conviction thereof, be adjudged guilty of murder, and 
shall suffer the same punishment as if he had killed a free man : Provided 
always, this act shall not extend to the person killing a slave outlawed by 

VIRTUE OF ANY ACT OF ASSEMBLY OF THIS STATE, Of to any slave ill the 

act of resistance to his lawful owner or master, or to any slave dying 
under moderate correction.'''' 

Instance in point ; — 

"From the ' JVational Era,' Washington, November 6, 1851. 

"HOMICIDE CASE IN CLARKE COUNTY, VIRGINIA. 

" Some time since, the newspapers of Virginia contained an account of 
a horrible tragedy, enacted in Clarke County, of that state. A slave of 
Colonel James Castleman, it was stated, had been chained by the neck, and 
whipped to death by his master, on the charge of stealing. The whole 
neighborhood in which the transaction occurred was incensed ; the Vir- 
ginia papers abounded in denunciations of the cruel act ; and the people 
of the North were called upon to bear witness to the justice which would 
surely be meted out in a slave state to the master of a slave. We did not 
publish the account. The case was horrible ; it was, we were confident, 
exceptional. It should not be taken as evidence of the general treatment 
of slaves. We chose to delay any notice of it till the courts should pro- 
nounce their judgment, and we could announce at once the crime and its 
punishment, so that the state might stand acquitted of the foul deed. 

" Those who were so shocked at the transaction will be surprised and 
mortified to hear that the actors in it have been tried and acquitted I and 
when they read the following account of the trial and verdict, published at 
the instance of the friends of the accused, their mortification will deepen 
into bitter indignation. 

"From the 'Spirit of Jefferson.' 

"'Colonel James Castleman. — The following statement, understood 
to have been drawn up by counsel, since the trial, has been placed by the 
friends of this gentleman in our hands for publication : 

" ' At the Circuit Superior Court of Clarke County, commencing on the 
13th of October, Judge Samuels presiding, James Castleman and his son 
Stephen D. Castleman were indicted jointly for the murder of negro Lewis, 
property of the latter. By advice of their counsel, the parties elected to be 
tried separately, and the attorney for the Commonwealth directed that James 
Castleman should be tried first. 

" ' It was proved, on this trial, that for many months previous to the oc- 
currence the money-drawer of the tavern kept by Stephen D. Castleman, 
and the liquors kept in large quantities in his cellar, had been pillaged 



APPENDIX. 351 

from time to time, until the thefts had attained to a considerable amount. 
Suspicion had, from various causes, been directed to Lewis, and another 
negro, named Reuben (a blacksmith), the property of James Castleman ; 
but, by the aid of two of the house-servants, they had eluded the most vigi- 
lant watch. 

" ' On the 20th of August last, in the afternoon, S. D. Castleman acci- 
dentally discovered a clue, by means of which, and through one of the 
house-servants implicated, he was enabled fully to detect the depredators, 
and to ascertain the manner in which the theft had been committed. lie 
immediately sent for his father, living near him, and, after communicating 
what he had discovered, it was determined that the offenders should be 
punished at once, and before they should know of the discovery that had 
been made. 

" ' Lewis was punished first ; and in a manner, as was fully shown, to 
preclude all risk of injury to his person, by stripes with a broad leathern 
strap. He was punished severely, but to an extent by no means dispro- 
portionate to his offence ; nor was it pretended, in any cpiarter, that this 
punishment implicated either his life or health. He confessed the offence, 
and admitted that it had been effected by false keys, furnished by the black- 
smith, Reuben. 

" ' The latter servant was punished immediately afterwards. It was be- 
lieved that he was the principal oifender, and he was found to be more obdu- 
rate and contumacious than Lewis had been in reference to the offence. 
Thus it was proved, belli by the prosecution and the defence, that he was 
punished with greater severity than his accomplice. It resulted in a like 
confession on his part, and he produced the false key, one fashioned by 
himself, by which the theft had been effected. 

" 'It was further shown, on the trial, that Lewis was whipped in the 
upper room of a warehouse, connected with Stephen Castleman's store, and 
near the public road, where he was at work at the time ; that after he had 
been flogged, to secure his person, whilst they went after Reuben, he wa3 
confined by a chain around his neck, which was attached to a joist above 
his head. The length cf this chain, the breadth and thickness of the joist, 
its height from the floor, and the circlet of chain on the neck, were accu- 
rately measured ; and it was thus shown that the chain unoccupied by the 
circlet and the joist was a foot and a half longer than the space between 
the shoulders of the man and the joist above, or to that extent the chain 
hung loose above him ; that the circlet (which was fastened so as to prevent 
its contraction) rested on the shoulders and breast, the chain being suffi- 
ciently drawn only to prevent being slipped over his head, and that there 
was no other place in the room to which he could be fastened except to one 
of the joists above. His hands were tied in front ; a white man, who had 
been at work with Lewis during the day, was left with him by the Messrs. 
Castleman, the better to insure his detention, whilst they were absent after 
n 30* 



352 APPENDIX. 

Reuben. It was proved by this man (who was a witness for the prosecu- 
tion) that Lewis asked for a box to stand on, or for something that he could 
jump off from ; that after the Castlemans had left him he expressed a fear 
that when they came back he would be whipped again ; and said, if he had 
a kDife, and could get 'one hand loose, he would cut his throat. The wit- 
ness stated that the negro ' ' stood firm on his feet," that he could turn freely 
in whatever direction he wished, and that he made no complaint of the mode 
of his confinement. This man stated that he remained with Lewis about half 
an hour, and then left there to go home. 

" 'After punishing Reuben, the Castlemans returned to the warehouse, 
bringing him with them ; their object being to confront the two men, in the 
hope that by further examination of them jointly all their accomplices might 
be detected. 

' ' ' They were not absent more than half an hour. When they entered the 
room above, Lewis was found hanging by the neck, his feet thrown behind 
him, his knees a few inches from the floor, and his head thrown forward, — 
the body warm and supple (or relaxed), but life was extinct. 

" ' It was proved by the surgeons who made a post-mortem examination 
before the coroner's inquest that the death was caused by strangulation by 
hanging ; and other emiuent surgeons were examined to show, from the 
appearance of the brain and its blood-vessels after death (as exhibited at 
the post-mortem examination), that the subject could not have fainted 
before strangulation. 

" ' After the evidence was finished on both sides, the jury, from then- 
box, and of their own motion, without a word from counsel on either side, 
informed the court that they had agreed upon their verdict. The counsel 
assented to its being thus received, and a verdict of "Not guilty" was 
immediately rendered. The attorney for the commonwealth then informed 
the court that all the evidence for the prosecution had been laid before the 
jury ; and, as no new evidence could be offered on the trial of Stephen D. 
Castleman, he submitted to the- court the propriety of entering a nolle 
prosequi. The judge replied that the case had been fully and fairly laid 
before the jury upon the evidence ; that the court was not only satisfied 
with the verdict, but, if any other had been rendered, it must have been 
set aside ; and that, if no farther evidence was to be adduced on the trial 
of Stephen, the attorney for the commonwealth would exercise a proper dis- 
cretion in entering a nolle prosequi as to him, and the court would 
approve its being done. A nolle prosequi was entered accordingly, and 
both gentlemen discharged. 

" ' It may bo added that two days were consumed in exhibiting the 
evidence, and that the trial was by a jury of Clark County. Both the 
parties had been on bail from the time of their arrest, and were continued 
on bail whilst the trial was depending.' 

" Let us admit that the evidence does not prove the legal crime of homi- 



APPENDIX. 353 

cide : what candid man can doubt, after reading this ex parte version of it, 
that the slave died in consequence of the punishment inflicted upon him? 

" In criminal prosecutions the federal constitution guarantees to the 
accused the right to a public trial by an impartial jury ; the right to be 
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation ; to be confronted with 
the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory process for obtaining witness 
in his favor ; and to have the assistance of counsel ; guarantees necessary 
to secure innocence against hasty or vindictive judgment, — absolutely 
necessary to prevent injustice. Grant that they were not intended for 
slaves ; every master of a slave must feel that they are still morally binding 
upon him. He is the sole judge ; he alone determines the offence, the 
proof recpiisite to establish it, and the amount of the punishment. The 
slave, then, has a peculiar claim upon him for justice. When charged with 
a crime, common humanity requires that he should be informed of it, that 
he should be confronted with the witnesses against him, that he should be 
permitted to show evidence in favor of his innocence. 

" But how was poor Lewis treated ? The son of Castleman said he had 
discovered who stole the money ; and it was forthwith ' determined that the 
offenders should be punished at once, and before they should know of the 
discovery that had been made.' Punished without a hearing ! Punished 
on the testimony of a house-servant, the nature of which does not appear to 
have been inquired into by the court ! Not a word is said which authorizes 
the belief that any careful examination was made, as it respects their guilt. 
Lewis and E-euben were assumed, on loose evidence, without deliberate 
investigation, to be guilty ; and then, without allowing them to attempt to 
show their evidence, they were whipped until a confession of guilt was 
extorted by bodily pain. 

" Is this Virginia justice ? " 

" 'To the Editor of the Era : 

" ' I see that Castleman, who lately had a trial for whipping a slave to 
death in Virginia, was '■'triumphantly acquitted,'''' — as many expected. 
There are three persons in this city, with whom I am acquainted, who staid 
at Castleman's the same night in which this awful tragedy was enacted. 
They heard the dreadful lashing, and the heartrending screams and 
entreaties of the sufferer. They implored the only white man they could 
find on the premises, not engaged in the bloody work, to interpose, but for 
a long time he refused, on the ground that he was a dependant, and was 
afraid to give offence ; and that, moreover, they had been drinking, and he 
was in fear for his own life, should he say a word that would be displeasing 
to them. He did, however, venture, and returned and reported the cruel 
manner in which the slaves were chained, and lashed, and secured in a 
blacksmith's vice. In the morning, when they ascertained that one of the 
slaves was dead, they were so shocked and indignant that they refused to 



354 APPENDIX. 

eat in the house, and reproached Castleman with his cruelty. He expressed 
his regret that the slave had died, and especially as he had ascertained that 
he was innocent of the accusation for which he had suffered. The idea wa3 
that he had fainted from exhaustion ; and, the chain being round his neck, 
he was strangled. The persons I refer to are themselves slaveholders ; 
but their feelings were so harrowed and lacerated that they could not sleep 
(two of them are ladies), and for maDy nights afterwards their rest was 
disturbed, and their dreams made frightful, by the appalling recollection. 

" 'These persons would have been material witnesses, and would have 
willingly attended on the part of the prosecution. The knowledge they had 
of the case was communicated to the proper authorities, yet their attendance 
was not required. The only witness was that dependant who considered 
his own life in danger. Yours, &c, J. F. ' 

T7ie Law of Outlawry. 
Revised Statutes of North Carolina, chap, cxi., sect. 22 : 
" ' Whereas, many times slaves run away a?id lie out, hid and lurking in 
swamps, woods, and other obscure places, killing cattle and hogs, and commit- 
ting other injuries to the inhabitants of this state ; in all such cases, upon 
intelligence of any slave or slaves lying out as aforesaid, any two justices of the 
peace for the county wherein such slave or slaves is or are supposed to lurk 
or do mischief, shall, and they are hereby empowered and required to issue 
proclamation against such slave or slaves (reciting his or their names, 
and the name or names of the owner or owners, if known), thereby 
requiring him or them, and every of them, forthwith to surrender him or 
themselves ; and also to empower and require the sheriff of the said county 
to take such power with him as he shall thiuk fit and necessary for going 
in search and pursuit of, and effectually apprehending, such outlying 
slave or slaves ; which proclamation shall be published at the door of the 
court-house, and at such other places as said justices shall direct. And if 
any slave or slaves, against whom proclamation hath been thus issued, stay 
out, and do not immediately return home, it shall be lawful for any person 
or persons whatsoever to kill and destroy such slave or slaves by such ways 
arid means as he shall think Jit, without accusation or impeachment of any 
crime for the same.' 

'"State of North Carolina, Lenoir County. — Whereas complaint 
hath been this day made to us, two of the justices of the peace for the said 
county, by William D. Cobb, of Jones County, that two negro slaves 
belonging to him, named Ben (commonly known by the name of Ben Fox) 
and lligdon, have absented themselves from their said master's service, and 
are lurking about in the Counties of Lenoir and Jones, committing acts of 
felony ; these are, in the name of the state, to command the said slaves 
forthwith to surrender themselves, and turn home to their said master. 



APPENDIX. 355 

And we do hereby also require the sheriff of said County of Lenoir to make 
diligent search and pursuit after the above-mentioned slaves. . . . And 
we do hereby, by virtue of an act of assembly of this state concerning 
servants and slaves, intimate and declare, if the said slaves do not surren- 
der themselves and return home to their master immediately after the 
publication of these presents, that any person may kill or destroy said slaves 
by such means as he or they think tit, without accusation or impeachment 
of any crime or offence for so doing, or without incurring any penalty of 
forfeiture thereby. 

" ' Given under our hands and seals, this 12th of November, 1886. 

"'B. Coleman, J. P. [Seal.] 
"' JAS. Jones, J. P.' [Seal] 



" ' $200 Reward. — Ran away from the subscriber, about three years 
ago, a certain negro man, named Ben, commonly known by the name of 
Ben Fox ; also one other negro, by the name of Rigdon, who ran away on 
the eighth of this month. 

" ' I will give the reward of one hundred dollars for each of the above 
negroes, to be delivered to me, or confined in the jail of Lenoir or Jones 
County, or for the killing of them, so that I can see them. 

" ' November 12, 1336. W. D. Cobb.' 

" That this act was not a dead letter, also, was plainly implied in the 
protective act first quoted. If slaves were not, as a matter of fact, ever 
outlawed, why does the act formally recognize such a class ? — ' provided 
that this act shall not extend to the killing of any slave outlawed by any 
act of the assembly.' This language sufficiently indicates the existence of 
the custom. 

" Further than this, the statute-book of 1821 contained two acts : the 
first of which provides that all masters, in certain counties, who have had 
slaves killed in consequence of outlawry, shall have a claim on the treasury 
of the state for their value, unless cruel treatment of the slave be proved on 
the part of the master ; the second act extends the benefits of the latter 
provision to all the counties in the state. 

" Finally there is evidence that this act of outlawry was executed so 
recently as the year I860, — the year in which ' Uncle Tom's Cabin ' was 
written. See the following from the Wilmington Journal of December 
13, 1S50. 

c; ' State of North Carolina, New Hanover County. — "Whereas 
complaint, upon oath, hath this day been made to us, two of the justices 
of the peace for the said state and county aforesaid, by Guilford Horn, of 
Edgecombe County, that a certain male slave belonging to him, named 
Harry, a carpenter by trade, about forty years old, five feet five inches 
high, or thereabouts ; yellow complexion ; stout built ; with a scar on his 



356 APPENDIX. 

left leg (from the cut of an axe) ; has very thick lips ; eyes deep sunk in 
his head ; forehead very square ; tolerably loud voice ; has lost one or two 
of his upper teeth ; and has a very dark spot on his jaw, supposed to be a 
mark, — hath absented himself from his master's service, and is supposed 
to be lurking about in this county, committiug acts of felony or other mis- 
deeds ; these are, therefore, in the name of state aforesaid, to command 
the said slave forthwith to surrender himself and return home to his said 
master ; and we do hereby, by virtue of the act of assembly in such cases 
made and provided, intimate and declare that if the said slave Harry doth 
not surrender himself and return home immediately after the publication 
of these presents, that any person or persons may kill and destroy the 
said slave by such means as he or they may think fit, without accusation 
or impeachment of any crime or offence in so doing, and without incurring 
any penalty or forfeiture thereby. 

" ' Given under our hands and seals, this 29th day of June, 1850. 

" ' Jajies T. Miller, J. P. [Seal.] 
"'¥. C. Bettencourt, J. P.' [Seal.'] 



" ' One Hundred and Twenty-five Dollars Eeward will be paid for 
the delivery of the said Harry to me at Tosnott Depot, Edgecombe County, 
or for his confinement in any jail in the state, so that I can get him ; or 
One Hundred and Fifty Dollars will be given for his head. 

" ' He was lately heard from in Newbern, where he called himself Henry 
Barnes (or Burns), and will be likely to continue the same name, or 
assume that of Copage or Farmer. He has a free mulatto woman for a 
wife, by the name of Sally Bozeman, who has lately removed to Wilming- 
ton, and lives in that part of the town called Texas, where he will likely be 
lurking. 

" ' Masters of vessels are particularly cautioned against harboring or 
concealing the said negro on board their vessels, as the full penalty of the 
law will be rigorously enforced. Guilford Horn. 

"'June 29f/i, 1850.'" 

This last advertisement was cut by the author from the Wilmington 
Journal, December 13th, 1850, a paper published in Wilmington, North 
Carolina. 



APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX III. 



CHURCH ACTION OX 5LAYEEY. 

In reference to this important subject, we present a few extracts from the 
first and second chapters of the fourth part of the " Key to Uncle Tom's 
Cabin : " 

Let us review the declarations that have been made in the Southern 
church, and see what principles have been established by them: 

1. That slavery is an innocent and lawful relation, as much as that of 
parent and child, husband and wife, or any other lawful relation of society. 
(Harmony Pres., S. C.) 

2. That it is consistent with the most fraternal regard for the good of the 
slave. (Charleston Union Pres., S. C.) 

3. That masters ought not to be disciplined for selling slaves without 
their consent. (Xew School Pres. Church, Petersburg, Va. ) 

4. That the right to buy, sell, and hold men for purposes of gain, was 
given by express permission of God. (James Smylie and his Presbyteries.) 

5. That the laws which forbid the education of the slave are right, and 
meet the approbation of the reflecting part of the Christian community. 
(Ibid.) 

6. That the fact of slavery is not a question of morals at all, but is purely 
one of political economy. (Charleston Baptist Association.) 

7. The right of masters to dispose of the time of their slaves has been dis- 
tinctly recognized by the Creator of all things. (Ibid.) 

8. That slavery, as it exists in these United States, is not a moral evil. 
(Georgia Conference, Methodist.) 

9. That, without a new revelation from heaven, no man is entitled to pro- 
nounce slavery wrong. 

10. That the separation of slaves by sale should be regarded as separation 
by death, and the parties allowed to marry again. (Shiloh Baptist Ass., 
and Savannah River Ass.) 

11. That the testimony of colored members of the churches shall not be 
taken against a white person. (Methodist Church.) 

In addition, it has been plainly avowed, by the expressed principles and 
practice of Christians of various denominations, that they regard it right 
and proper to put down all inquiry upon this subject by Lynch law. 

The Old School Presbyterian Church, in whose communion the greater 
part of the slaveholding Presbyterians of the South are found, has never 
felt called upon to discipline its members for upholding a system which de- 



358 APPENDIX. 

nies legal marriage to all slaves. Yet this church "was agitated to its very 
foundation by the discussion of a question of morals which an impartial 
observer would probably consider of far less magnitude, namely, whether a 
man might lawfully marry his deceased wife's sister. For the time, all the 
strength and attention of the church seemed concentrated upon this import- 
ant subject. The trial went from Presbytery to Synod, and from Synod to 
General Assembly ; and ended with deposing a -very respectable minister for 
this crime. 

Rev. Robert J. Breckenridge, D.D., a member of the Old School Assem- 
bly, has thus described the state of the slave population as to their marriage 
relations : 

" The system of slavery denies to a whole class of human beings the sa- 
credness of marriage and of home, compelling them to live in a state of 
concubinage ; for, in the eye of the law, no colored slave-man is the husband 
of any wife in particular, nor any slave-woman the wife of any husband in 
particular ; no slave-man is the father of any child in particular, and no 
slave-child is the child of any parent in particular." 

Now, had this church considered the fact that three millions of men and 
women were, by the laws of the land, obliged to live in this manner, as of 
equally serious consequence, it is evident, from the ingenuity, argument, 
vehemence, Biblical research, and untiring zeal, Avhich they bestowed on Mr. 
McQueen's trial, that they could have made a very strong case with regard 
to this also. 

The history of the united action of denominations which included churches 
both in the slave and free states is a melancholy exemplification, to a reflect- 
ing mind, of that gradual deterioration of the moral sense which results 
from admitting any compromise, however slight, with an acknowledged sin. 
The best minds in the world cannot bear such a familiarity without injury 
to the moral sense. The facts of the slave system and of the slave laws, 
when presented to disinterested judges in Europe, have excited a universal 
outburst of horror ; yet, in assemblies composed of the wisest and best cler- 
gymen of America, these things have been discussed from year to year, and 
yet brought no results that have, in the slightest degree, lessened the evil. 
The reason is this. A portion of the members of these bodies had pledged 
themselves to sustain the system, and peremptorily to refuse and put down 
all discussion of it ; and the other part of the body did not consider this 
stand so taken as being of sufficiently vital consequence to authorize separa- 
tion. 

Nobody will doubt that, had the Southern members taken such a stand 
against the divinity of our Lord, the division would have been immediate 
and unanimous ; but yet the Southern members do maintain the right to 
buy and sell, lease, hire, and mortgage, multitudes of men and women, 
whom, with the same breath, they declare to be members of their churches, 
and true Christians. The Bible declares of all such that they are the tern- 



APPENDIX. 3-59 

pies of the Holy Ghost ; that they are the members of Christ's body, of his 
flesh and bones. Is not the doctrine that men may lawfully sell the mem- 
bers of Christ, his body, his flesh and bones, for purposes of gain, as really 
a heresy as the denial of the divinity of Christ ? and is it not a dishonor to 
Him who is over all, God blessed forever, to tolerate this dreadful opinion, 
with its more dreadful consequences, while the smallest heresies concerning 
the imputation of Adam's sin are pursued with eager vehemence ? If the his- 
tory of the action of all the bodies thus united can be traced downwards, 
we shall find that, by reason of this tolerance of an admitted sin, the anti- 
slavery testimony has every year grown weaker and weaker. If we lcok 
over the histoiy of all denominations, we shall see that at first they used 
"very stringent language with relation to slavery. This is particularly the 
case with the Methodist and Presbyterian bodies, and for that reason we 
select these two as examples. The Methodist Society, especially, as organ- 
ized by John Wesley, was an anti-slavery society, and the Book of Discipline 
contained the most positive statutes against slaveholding. The history of 
the successive resolutions of the Conference of this church is very striking. 
In 1780, before the church was regularly organized in the United States, 
they resolved as follows : 

" The conference acknowledges that slavery is contrary to the laws of 
God, man, and nature, and hurtful to society ; contrary to the dictates of 
conscience and true religion ; and doing what we would not others should 
do unto us." 

In 1784, when the church was fully organized, rules were adopted pre- 
scribing the times at which members who were already slaveholders should 
emancipate their slaves. These rules were succeeded by the following : 

"Every person concerned, who will not comply with these rules, shall 
have liberty quietly to withdraw from our Society within the twelve months 
following the notice being given him, as aforesaid ; otherwise the assistants 
shall exclude him from the Society. 

"No person holding slaves shall in future be admitted into the Society, 
or to the Lord's Supper, till he previously comply with these rules concern- 
ing slavery. 

" Those who buy, sell, or give slaves away, unless on purpose to free 
them, shall be expelled immediately." 

In 1801 : 

" We declare that we are more than ever convinced of the great evil of 
African slavery, which still exists in these United States. 

" Every member of the Society who sells a slave shall immediately, after 
full proof, be excluded from the Society, etc. 

' ' The Annual Conferences are directed to draw up addresses for the grad- 
ual emancipation of the slaves, to the legislature. Proper committees shall 
be appointed by the Annual Conference, out of the most respectable of out- 
friends, for the conducting of the business ; and the presiding elders, dea- 
II. 31 



360 APPENDIX. 

cons, and travelling preachers, shall procure as many proper signatures as 
possible to the addresses, and give all the assistance in their power, in every 
respect, to aid the committees, and to further the blessed undertaking. Let 
this be continued from year to year, till the desired end be accomplished." 

In 1336, let us notice the change. The General Conference held its annual 
session in Cincinnati, and resolved as follows : 

"Resolved, by the delegates of the Annual Conferences in General Con- 
ference assembled, that they are decidedly opposed to modern abolitionism, 
and wholly disclaim any right, wish, or intention, to interfere in the civil 
and political relation between master and slave, as it exists in the slave- 
holding States of this Union." 

These resolutions were passed by a very large majority. An address was 
received from the Wesley an Methodist Conference in England, affectionately 
remonstrating on the subject of slavery. The Conference refused to publish 
it. In the pastoral address to the churches are these passages : 

" It cannot be unknown to you that the question of slavery in the United 
States, by the constitutional compact which binds us together as a nation, is 
left to be regulated by the several State Legislatures themselves ; and thereby 
is put beyond the control of the general government, as well as that of all 
ecclesiastical bodies, it being manifest that in the slaveholding States them- 
selves the entire responsibility of its existence, or non-existence, rests with 
those State Legislatures. *••'#.* These facts, which are only men- 
tioned here as a reason for the friendly admonition which we wish to give 
you, constrain us, as your pastors, who are called to watch over your souls, 
as they must give account, to exhort you to abstain from all abolition 
movements and associations, and to refrain from patronizing any of their 
publications," etc. ********* 

The subordinate conferences showed the same spirit. 

In 1836, the New York Annual Conference resolved that no one should 
be elected a deacon or elder in the church unless he would give a pledge to 
the church that he would refrain from discussing this subject. * 

In 1838, the Conference resolved — 

" As the sense of this Conference, that any of its members, or probation- 
ers, who shall patronize Zion's Watchman, either by writing in commenda- 
tion of its character, by circulating it, recommending it to our people, or 
procuring subscribers, or by collecting or remitting moneys, shall be deemed 
guilty of indiscretion, and dealt with accordingly." 

It will be recollected that Zio/i's Watchman was edited by Le Roy 
Sunderland, for whose abduction the State of Alabama had offered fifty 
thousand dollars. 

In 1840, the General Conference at Baltimore passed the resolution that 
we have already quoted, forbidding preachers to allow colored persons if > 

* This resolution is given in Birney's pamphlet. 



APPENDIX. 361 

give testimony in their churches. It has been computed that about eighty 
thousand people were deprived of the right of testimony by this Act. This 
Methodist Church subsequently broke into a Northern and Southern Con- 
ference. The Southern Conference is avowedly all pro-slavery, and the 
Northern Conference has still in its communion slaveholding conferences 
and members. 

Of the Northern Conferences, one of the largest, the Baltimore, passed 
the following : 

" Resolved, That this Conference disclaims having any fellowship with 
abolitionism. On the contrary, while it is determined to maintain its well- 
known and long-established position, by keeping the travelling preachers 
composing its own body free from slavery, it is also determined not to hold 
connection with any ecclesiastical body that shall make non-slaveholding a 
condition of membership in the church, but to stand by and maintain the 
discipline as it is." 

The following extract is made from an address of the Philadelphia An- 
nual Conference to the Societies under its care, dated Y\'ilmington, Delaware, 
April 7, 1847 : 

" If the plan of separation gives us the pastoral care of you, it remains 
to inquire whether we have done anything, as a conference, or as men, to 
forfeit your confidence and affection. We are not advised that even in the 
great excitement which has distressed you for some months past, any one 
has impeached our moral conduct, or charged us with unsoundness in doc- 
trine, or corruption or tyranny in the administration of discipline. But we 
learn that the simple cause of the unhappy excitement among you is, that 
some suspect us, or affect to suspect us, of being abolitionists. Yet no par- 
ticular act of the Conference, or any particular member thereof, is adduced 
as the ground of the erroneous and injurious suspicion. We would ask you, 
brethren, whether the conduct of our ministry among you for sixty years 
past ought not to be sufficient to protect us from this charge. Whether the 
question we have been accustomed, for a few years past, to put to candidates 
for admission among us, namely, Are you an abolitionist? and, without 
each one answered in the negative, he was not received, ought not to pro- 
tect us from the charge. Whether the action of the last Conference on this 
particular matter ought not to satisfy any fair and candid mind that we are 
not, and do not desire to be, abolitionists. * * * * We cannot see 
how we can be regarded as abolitionists, without the ministers of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church South being considered in the same light. * * * 

" Wishing you all heavenly benedictions, we are, dear brethren, yours, 
in Christ Jesus, J. P. Duebix, 

J. Kexxadat, 

Ignatius T. Cooper, )■ Committee." 
William II. Gilder, 
Joseph Castle, 



362 APPENDIX. 

These facts sufficiently define the position of the Methodist church. The 
history is melancholy, but instructive. The history of the Presbyterian 
church is also of interest. 

In 1793, the following note to the eighth commandment was inserted in 
the Book of Discipline, as expressing the doctrine of the church upon slave- 
holding : 

" 1 Tim. 1 : 10. — The law is made for man-stealers. This crime among 
the Jews exposed the perpetrators of it to capital punishment (.Exodus 21 : 
15) ; and the apostle here classes them with sinners of the first rank. The 
word he uses, in its original import, comprehends all who are concerned in 
bringing any of the human race into slavery, or in retaining them in it. 
Hominum fures, qui servos vel liberos, abducunt, reiinent, vendunt, vel 
emunt. Stealers of men are all those who bring off slaves or freemen, and 
keep, sell, or Buy them. To steal a free man, says Grotius, is the high- 
est kind of theft. In other instances, we only steal human property ; but 
when we steal or retain men in slavery, we seize those who, in common with 
ourselves, are constituted by the original grant lords of the earth. ' ' 

No rules of church discipline were enforced, and members whom this 
passage declared guilty of this crime remained undisturbed in its com- 
munion, as ministers and elders. This inconsistency was obviated in 1816 
by expunging the passage from the Book of Discipline. In 1818 it adopted 
an expression of its views on slavery. This document is a long one, con- 
ceived, and written in a very Christian spirit. The Assembly's Digest says, 
page 341, that it was unanimously adopted. The following is its testimony 
as to the nature of slavery : 

" We consider the voluntary enslaving of one part of the human race by 
another as a gross violation of the most precious and sacred rights of human 
nature, as utterly inconsistent with the law of God which requires us to 
love our neighbor as ourselves, and as totally irreconcilable with the spirit 
and principles of the Gospel of Christ, which enjoin that ' all things what- 
soever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.' Slav- 
ery creates a paradox in the moral system. It exhibits rational, accounta- 
ble, and immortal beings in such circumstances as scarcely to leave them 
the power of moral action. It exhibits them as dependent on the will of 
others whether they shall receive religious instruction ; whether they shall 
know and worship the true God ; whether they shall enjoy the ordinances 
of the Gospel ; whether they shall perform the duties and cherish the 
endearments of husbands and wives, parents and children, neighbors and 
friends ; whether they shall preserve their chastity and purity, or regard 
the dictates of justice and humanity. Such are some of the consequences 
of slavery, — consequences not imaginary, but which connect themselves 
with its very existence. The evils to which the slave is always exposed 
often take place in fact, and in their very worst degree and form ; and 
where all of them do not take place, — as we rejoice to say that in many 



APPEXDTX. 363 

instances, through the influence of the principles of humanity and religion 
on the minds of masters, they do not, — still the slave is deprived of his 
natural right, degraded as a human being, and exposed to the danger of 
passing into the hands of a master who may inflict upon him all the hard- 
ships and injuries which inhumanity and avarice may suggest." 

This language was surely decided, and it was unanimously adopted by 
slaveholders and non-slaveholders. Certainly one might think the time of 
redemption was drawing nigh. The declaration goes on to say : 

"It is manifestly the duty of all Christians who enjoy the light of the. 
present day, when the inconsistency of slavery both with the dictates of 
humanity and religion has been demonstrated, and is generally seen and 
acknowledged, to use honest, earnest, unwearied endeavors to correct the 
errors of former times, and as speedily as passible to efiace this blot on our 
holy religion, and to obtain the complete abolition of slavery through- 
out Christendom and throughout the world." 

Here we have the Presbyterian Church, slaveholding and non-slavehold 
ing, virtually formed into one great abolition society, as we have seen the 
Methodist was. 

The Assembly then goes on to state that the slaves are not at present pre- 
pared to be free, — that they tenderly sympathize with the portion of the 
church and country that has had this evil entailed upon them, where, as 
they say, " a great and the most virtuous part of the community abhor 
slavery, and wish its extermination." But they exhort them to com- 
mence immediately the work of instructing slaves, with a view to preparing 
them for freedom, and to let no greater delay take place than " a regard to 
public welfare indispensably demands;" "to be governed by no other 
considerations than an honest and i?nparlial regard to the happiness of the 
injured party, uninfluenced by the expense and inconvenience which such 
regard may involve." It warns against "unduly extending this plea of 
necessity,''' — against making it a cover for the love and practice of slav- 
ery. It ends by recommending that any one who shall sell a fellow-Chris- 
tian without his consent be immediately disciplined and suspended. 

If we consider that this was unanimously adopted by slaveholders and 
all, and grant, as we certainly do, that it was adopted in all honesty and 
good faith, we shall surely expect something from it. We should expect 
forthwith the organizing of a set of common schools for the slave children ; 
for an efficient religious ministration ; for an entire discontinuance of 
trading in Christian slaves ; for laws which make the family relations 
sacred. Was any such thing done or attempted ? Alas ! Two years after 
this, came the admission of Missouri, and the increase of demand in 
the Southern slave-market, and the internal slave-trade. Instead of 
school-teachers, they had slave-traders ; instead of gathering schools, they 
gathered slavc-coffles. Iustead of building school-houses, they built slave- 
ii. 31* 



364 APPENDIX. 

pens and slave-prisons, jails, barracoons, factories, or whatever the trade 
pleases to term them ; and so went the plan of gradual emancipation. 

In 1834, sixteen years after, a committee of the Synod of Kentucky, in 
which state slavery is generally said to exist in its mildest form, appointed 
to make a report on the condition of the slaves, gave the following picture 
of their condition. First, as to their spiritual condition, they say : 

" After making all reasonable allowances, our colored population can be 
considered, at the most, but semi-heathen. 

" Brutal stripes, and all the various kinds of personal indignities, are 
not the only species of cruelty which slavery licenses. The law does not 
recognize the family relations of the slave, and extends to him no protec- 
tion in the enjoyment of domestic endearments. The members of a slave- 
family may be forcibly separated, so that they shall never more meet until 
the final judgment. And cupidity often induces the masters to practise what 
the law allows. Brothers and sisters, parents and children, husbands and 
wives, are torn asunder, and permitted to see each other no more. These 
acts are daily occurring in the midst of us. The shrieks and the agony 
often witnessed on such occasions proclaim with a trumpet-tongue the 
iniquity and cruelty of our system. The cries of these sufferers go up to 
the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. There is not a neighborhood where these 
heartrending scenes are not displayed. There is not a village or road that 
does not behold the sad procession of manacled outcasts, whose chains and 
mournful countenances tell that they are exiled by force from all that their 
hearts hold dear. Our church, years ago, raised its voice of solemn warn- 
ing against this flagrant violation of every principle of mercy, justice, and 
humanity. Yet we blush to announce to you and to the world, that this 
warning has been often disregarded, even by those who hold to our com- 
munion. Cases have occurred, in our own denomination, where professors 
of the religion of mercy have torn the mother from her children, and sent 
her into a merciless and returnless exile. Yet acts of discipline have rarely 
followed such conduct." 

Hon. James G. Birney, for years a resident of Kentucky, in his pam- 
phlet, amends the word rarely by substituting never. What could show 
more plainly the utter inefficiency of the past act of the Assembly, and the 
necessity of adopting some measures more efficient ? In 1835, therefore, the 
subject was urged upon the General Assembly, entreating them to carry out 
the principles and designs they had avowed in 1818. 

Mr. Stuart, of Illinois, in a speech he made upon the subject, said : 

" I hope this Assembly are prepared to come out fully and declare their 
sentiments, that slaveholding is a most flagrant and heinous sin. Let us 
not pass it by in this indirect way, while so many thousands and tens of 
thousands of our fellow-creatures are writhing under the lash, often 
inflicted, too, by ministers and elders of the Presbyterian church. 



APPENDIX. 365 

" In this church a man may take a free-born child, force it away from its 
parents, to whom God gave it in charge, saying, ' Bring it up fur me,' and 
sell it as a beast, or hold it in perpetual bondage, and not only escape corpo- 
real punishment, but really be esteemed an excellent Christian. Nay, even 
ministers of the Gospel and doctors of divinity may engage in this unholy 
traffic, and yet sustain their high and holy calling. 

* ****** * 

" Elders, ministers, and doctors of divinity, are, with both hands, 
engaged in the practice." 

One would have thought facts like these, stated in a body of Christians, 
were enough to wake the dead ; but, alas ! we can become accustomed to 
very awful things. No action was taken upon these remonstrances, 
except to refer them to a committee, to be reported on at the next session, in 
183G. 

The moderator of the Assembly in 1836 was a slaveholder, Dr. T. S. 
Witherspoon, the same who said to the editor of the Emancipator, "I 
draw my warrant from the scriptures of the Old and New Testament to 
hold my slaves in bondage. The principle of holding the heathen in bond- 
age is recognized by God. When the tardy process of the law is too long in 
redressing our grievances, we at the South have adopted the summary 
process of Judge Lynch." 

The majority of the committee appointed made a report as follows : 

" "Whereas the subject of slavery is inseparably connected with the laws 
of many of the states in this Union, with which it is by no means proper 
for an ecclesiastical judicature to interfere, and involves many considerations 
in regard to which great diversity of opinion and intensity of feeling are 
known to exist in the churches represented in this Assembly ; and whereas 
there is great reason to believe that any action on the part of this Assem- 
bly, in reference to this subject, would tend to distract and divide our 
churches, and would probably in no wise promote the benefit of those whose 
welfare is immediately contemplated in the memorials in question : 

" Therefore, Resolved, 

" 1. That it is not expedient for the Assembly to take any further order 
in relation to this subject. 

" 2. That as the notes which have been expunged from our public formu- 
laries, and which some of the memorials referred to the committee request 
to have restored, were introduced irregularly, never had the sanction of the 
church, and, therefore, never possessed any authority, the General Assem- 
bly has no power, nor would they think it expedient, to assign them a place 
in the authorized standards of the church." 

The minority of the committee, the Rev. Messrs. Dickey and Beman, 
reported as follows : 

" Resolved, 1. That the buying, selling, or holding a human being as 



SG6 APPENDIX. 

property, is in the sight of God a heinous sin, and ought to subject the doer 
of it to the censures of the church. 

" 2. That it is the duty of every one, and especially of every Christian, 
who may be involved in this sin, to free himself from its entanglement with- 
out delay. 

" 3. That it is the duty of every one, especially of every Christian, in the 
meekness and firmness of the Gospel, to plead the cause of the poor and 
needy, by testifying against the principle and practice x>f slaveholding, and 
to use his best endeavors to deliver the church of God from the evil, and to 
bring about the emancipation of the slaves in these United States, and 
throughout the world." 

The slaveholding delegates, to the number of forty-eight, met apart, and 
Resolved, 

" That if the General Assembly shall undertake to exercise authority on 
the subject of slavery, so as to make it an immorality, or shall in any way 
declare that Christians are criminal in holding slaves, that a declaration 
shall be presented by the Southern delegation declining their jurisdiction in 
the case, and our determination not to submit to such decision." 

In view of these conflicting reports, the Assembly resolved as follows : 

" Inasmuch as the constitution of the Presbyterian church, in its prelim- 
inary and fundamental principles, declares that no church judicatories 
ought to pretend to make laws to bind the conscience in virtue of their own 
authority ; and as the urgency of the business of the Assembly, and the 
shortness of the time during which they can continue in session, render it 
impossible to deliberate and decide judiciously on the subject of slavery in 
its relation to the church, therefore, Resolved, that this whole subject be 
indefinitely postponed." 

The amount of the slave-trade at the time when the General Assembly 
refused to act upon the subject of slavery at all may be inferred from the 
following items. The Virginia Times, in an article published in this very 
year of 1886, estimated the number of slaves exported for sale from that 
state alone, during the twelve months preceding, at forty thousand. The 
Natchez (Miss.) Courier says that in the same year the States of Alabama, 
Missouri, and Arkansas, imported two hundred and fifty thousand slaves 
from the more northern states. If we deduct from these all who may be 
supposed to have emigrated with their masters, still what an immense trade 
is here indica-ted ! 

Two years after, the General Assembly, by a sudden and very unexpected 
movement, passed a vote exscinding, without trial, from the communion of 
the church, four synods, comprising the most active and decided anti- slavery 
portions of the church. The reasons alleged were, doctrinal differences and 
ecclesiastical practices inconsistent with Presbyterianism. By this act about 
five hundred ministers and sixty thousand members were cut off from the 
Presbyterian church. 



APPENDIX. 367 

That portion of the Presbyterian church called New School, considering 
this act unjust, refused to assent to it, joined the exscinded synods, and 
formed themselves into the New School General Assembly. In this com- 
munion only three slaveholding presbyteries remained ; in the old there 
were between thirty and forty. 

The course of the Old School Assembly, after the separation, in relation 
to the subject of slavery, may be best expressed by quoting one of their 
resolutions, passed in 1845. Having some decided anti-slavery members in 
its body, and being, moreover, addressed on the subject of slavery by asso- 
ciated bodies, they presented, in this year, the following deliberate statement 
of their policy. (Minutes for 1845, p. 18.) 

" Resolved, 1. That the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church 
in the United States was originally organized, and has since continued the 
bond of union in the church, upon the conceded principle that the existence 
of domestic slavery, under the circumstances in which it is found in the 
Southern portion of the country, is no bar to Christian communion. 

" 2. That the petitions that ask the Assembly to make the holding of 
slaves in itself a matter of discipline do virtually require this judicatory to 
dissolve itself, and abandon the organization under which, by the Divine 
blessing, it has so long prospered. The tendency is evidently to separate 
the Northern from the Southern portion of the church — a result which 
every good Christian must deplore, as tending to the dissolution of the 
Union of our beloved country, and which every enlightened Christian will 
oppose, as bringing about a ruinous and unnecessary schism between breth- 
ren who maintain a common faith. 

" Yeas, Ministers and Elders, 168. 
"Nays, " " " 18." 

It is scarcely necessary to acid a comment to thi3 very explicit declara- 
tion. It is the plainest possible disclaimer of any protest against slavery ; 
the plainest possible statement that the existence of the ecclesiastical organ- 
ization is of more importance than all the moral and social considerations 
which are involved in a full defence and practice of American slavery. 

The next year a large number of petitions and remonstrances were 
presented, requesting the Assembly to utter additional testimony against 
slavery. 

In reply # to the petitions, the General Assembly reaffirmed all their former 
testimonies on the subject of sin ery for sixty years back, and also affirmed 
that the previous year's declaration must not be understood as a ret. 
of that testimony ; in other words, they expressc I it as their opinion, in the 
words of 1818, that slavery is " wholly oppose I to the laic of God," 
"totally irreconcilable with the precepts of the Gospel of Christ;'' 
yet that they t: had formed their church organization upon the con 
principle that the existence of it, under the circumstances in which it is 
found in the Southern States of the Union, is no bar to Christian com- 
munion." 



368 APPENDIX. 

Some members protested against this action. (Minutes, 1846. Overture 
No. 17.) 

Great hopes were at first entertained of the New School body. As a body, 
it was composed mostly of anti-slavery men. It. had in it those synods 
whose anti-slavery opinions and actions had been, to say the least, one very 
efficient cause for their excision from the Church. It had only three 
slaveholding Presbyteries. The power was all in its own hands. Now, if 
ever, was their time to cut this loathsome encumbrance wholly adiift, and 
stand up, in this age of concession and conformity to the world, a purely 
protesting church, free from all complicity with this most dreadful national 
immorality. 

On the first session of the General Assembly this course was most vehe- 
mently urged, by many petitions and memorials. These memorials were 
referred to a committee of decided anti-slavery men. The argument on one 
side was, that the time was now come to take decided measures to cut free 
wholly from all pro-slavery complicity, and avow their principles with 
decision, even though it should repel all such churches from their commu- 
nion as were not prepared for immediate emancipation. 

On the other hand, the majority of the committee were urged by oppos- 
ing considerations. The brethren from slave states made to them repre- 
sentations somewhat alike to these : " Brethren, our hearts are with you. 
We are with you in faith, in charity, in prayer. We sympathized in the 
injury that had been done you by excision. We stood by you then, and are 
ready to stand by you still. We have no sympathy with the party that 
have expelled you, and we do not wish to go back to them. As to this 
matter of slavery, we do not differ from you. We consider it an evil. We 
mourn and lament over it. We are trying, by gradual and peaceable means, 
to exclude it from our churches. We are going as far in advance of the 
sentiment of our churches as we consistently can. We cannot come up to 
more decided action without losing our hold over them, and, as we think, 
throwing back the cause of emancipation. If you begin in this decided 
manner, we cannot hold our churches in the union ; they will divide, and 
go to the Old School." 

Here was a very strong plea, made by good and sincere men. It was an 
appeal, too, to the most generous feelings of the heart. It was, in effect, 
saying, " Brothers, we stood by you, and fought your battles, when every- 
thing was going against you ; and, now that you have the power in your 
hands, are you going to use it so as to cast us out ? ' ' 

These men, strong anti-slavery men as they were, were affected. One 
member of the committee foresaw and feared the result. He felt and sug- 
gested that the course proposed conceded the whole question. The majority 
thought, on the whole, that it was best to postpone the subject. The com- 
mittee reported that the applicants, for reasons satisfactory to themselves, 
had withdrawn their papers. 



APPENDIX. 3G9 

The next year, in 1830, the subject was resumed ; and it was again urged 
that the Assembly should take high, and decided, and unmistakable ground; 
and certainly, if we consider that all this time not a single church had 
emancipated its slaves, and that the power of the institution was every- 
where stretching and growing and increasing, it would certainly seem that 
something more efficient was necessary than a general understanding that 
the church agreed with the testimony delivered in 1S18. It was strongly 
represented that it was time something was done. This year the Assem- 
bly decided to refer the subject to Presbyteries, to do what they deemed 
advisable. The words employed were these : " Solemnly referring the 
whole subject to the lower judicatories, to take such action as in their 
judgment is most judicious, and adapted to remove the evil." The Rev. 
George Beecher moved to insert the word moral before evil ; they 
declined. * 

This brought, in 1840, a much larger number of memorials and peti- 
tions ; and very strong attempts were made by the abolitionists to obtain 
some decided action. 

The committee this year referred to what had been done last year, and 
declared it inexpedient to do anything further. The subject was indefinitely 
postponed. At this time it was resolved that the Assembly should meet only 
once in three years. Accordingly, it did not meet till 1843. In 1843, 
several memorials were again presented, and some resolutions offered to the 
Assembly, of which this was one (Minutes of the General Assembly for 
1843, p. 15) : 

" Resolved, That we affectionately and earnestly urge upon the Ministers, 
Sessions, Presbyteries, and Synods, connected with this Assembly, that they 
treat this as all other sins of great magnitude ; and by a diligent, kind, and 
faithful application of the means which God has given them, by instruction, 
remonstrance, reproof, and effective discipline, seek to purify the church of 
this great iniquity." 

This resolution they declined. They passed the following : 

" Whereas there is in this Assembly gi*eat diversity of opinion as to the 
proper and best mode of action on the subject of slavery ; and whereas, in 
such circumstances, any expression of sentiment would carry with it but 
little weight, as it would be passed by a small majority, and must operate 
to produce alienation and division ; and whereas the Assembly of 1839, with 
great unanimity, referred this whole subject to the lower judicatories, to 
take such order as in their judgment might be adapted to remove the evil ; 
— Resolved, That the Assembly do not think it for the edification of the 
church for this body to take any action on the subject." 

They, however, pissed the following : 

"Resolved, That the fashionable amusement of promiscuous dancing is 

* Goodcll's History of the Great Struggle between Freedom and Slavery. 



370 APPENDIX. 

so entirely unscriptural, and eminently and exclusively that of ' the world 
which lieth in wickedness, ' and so wholly inconsistent with the spirit of 
Christ, and with that propriety of Christian deportment and that purity 
of heart which his followers are bound to maintain, as to render it not 
.only improper and injurious for professing Christians either to partake 
in it, or to qualify their children for it, by teaching them the 'art,' but 
also to call for the faithful and judicious exercise of discipline on the part 
of Church Sessions, when any of the members of their churches have 
been guilty." 

Thus has the matter gone on from year to year, ever since. 

In 1856 we are sorry to say that we can report no improvement in the 
action of the great ecclesiastical bodies on the subject of slavery, but 
rather deterioration. Notwithstanding all the aggressions of slavery, and 
notwithstanding the constant developments of its horrible influence in cor- 
rupting and degrading the character of the nation, as seen in the mean, 
vulgar, assassin-like outrages in our national Congress, and the brutal, 
blood-thirsty, fiend-like proceedings in Kansas, connived at and protected, 
if not directly sanctioned and in part instigated, by our national govern- 
ment ; — notwithstanding all this, the great ecclesiastical organizations 
seem less disposed than ever before to take any efficient action on the 
subject. This was manifest in the General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church North, held at Indianapolis during the spring of the 
present year, and in the General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church, held 
at New York at about the same time. 

True, a very large minority in the Methodist Conference resisted with 
great energy the action, or rather no action, of the majority, and gave 
fearless utterance to the most noble sentiments ; but in the final result the 
numbers were against them. 

The same thing was true to some extent in the New School Presby- 
terian General Assembly, though here the anti-slavery utterances were, on 
the whole, inferior to those in the Methodist Conference. In both bodies 
the Packthreads, and Cushings, and Calkers, and Bonnies, are numerous, 
and have the predominant influence, while the Dicksons are fewer, and have 
far less power. The representations, therefore, in the body of the work, 
though very painful, are strictly just. Individuals, everywhere in the free 
states, and in some of the slave states, are most earnestly struggling against 
the prevailing corruption ; but the churches, as such, are, for the most 
part, still unmoved. There are churches free from this stain, but they are 
neither numerous nor popular. 

For an illustration of the lynching of Father Dickson, see " Key to Uncle 
Tom's Cabin," Part III., Chapter VIII. 



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